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Making a Smarter Home: The Smart Appliance Revolution

Saturday, May 14th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals, Smartphones
 
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All sorts of items in your home are going to be “smart” within the next few years. For some appliances, this means that they can think on their own to streamline household chores. For other smart items, it means automating tasks entirely.

smart-kitchen

Smart Appliances

Any appliance that can do something as simple as starting at a specified time can be considered smart. But if that was all it could do it would be a waste of potential. Rather, a good smart appliance should be able to make your life easier or let you focus your attention on other tasks instead.

The washing machine is one of the biggest time sinks that a homeowner has to deal with, so any time saved here has huge ramifications to your day or week. Trends in washers and dryers include more customized modes and the ability to sense various aspects of the load such as size and weight for better efficiency. This can include anything from regulating water temperature for optimal cleaning to changing how the washing drum spins to simulate hand washing for delicate items.

smart-lg-phone

Smart appliances can be even smarter by using the corresponding smartphone apps. For instance, LG’s SmartThinQ compatible products can download custom modes from the Internet, as well as give alerts when a load is finished. These are the sort of features that will show that smart technology isn’t a fad, but rather a movement based on innovation. This kind of innovation can also save you money by being more energy efficient, using cold water over warm to save on energy bills. But as with any big purchase it’s important to protect your investment with warranties and following the instructions.

Smart Beds

The mattress is another area where we’ve been trained to think that it just is what it is, a soft place to sleep. But adding technology to this seemingly simple piece of furniture can help you feel rested and refreshed instead of tired and groggy.

Sleep Number offers smart mattresses that have sensors in them to analyze how well you are sleeping and make adjustments accordingly. Being able to adjust the setting without a hassle means you get to spend your time being relaxed and comfortable rather than fumbling with a remote to get there.

sleep-number-app

How well you sleep is just one piece of information that can help you adjust your habits to feel better overall. This information could be combined with other apps such as diet and fitness tracking to see if something you eat might be disrupting your sleep patterns.

Home Control

With all of these smart devices starting to show up in the home, there has to be a way to control everything from one place. Because of the lightweight nature of many of the programs that smart devices have to run, going with a phone or tablet is often the best option. Many of these apps are available on both Android and iOS, meaning you could get a cheap tablet to work as a universal remote for nearly all the smart devices in your home. LG and Samsung have developed apps for their smart appliances that let you control the appliances from anywhere. Because of the popularity of smart thermostats like Nest, manufacturers have worked together to let these systems talk to one another. For instance, when Nest senses that you have left the house it can command the appliances to start their cycles, so they don’t disturb you while running.

Amazon Echo

If you prefer a hub-style option, devices like the Amazon Echo are great for centrally localized voice commands. The Echo’s little brother the Echo Dot has recently been released and brings the Echo to multiple rooms such as a bedroom or kitchen. With solutions like these you don’t have to be in the same room as an appliance to use it.

~ Jiro

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5 Responses to “Making a Smarter Home: The Smart Appliance Revolution”

  1. Markj says:

    WOW you mean I won’t have to turn the little knobs on my washer after I carry all the clothes down to the basement and pit them in it. I hope you could detect the sarcasm.

    Personally things like detecting load size to set the water level might be ok but I don’t think I would trust it to detect materials and set water temps etc. I have written and debugged too many programs myself to think that was a good idea.

  2. Jerry says:

    …and what will happen when the Internet of Things allow hackers in to turn your freezer or refrigerator off or downloads ransomware to them? Buy a new appliance? I’ll stay with the dumb items, thanks.

  3. miger says:

    Many of the manufacturers of these “smart” appliances realize that they have not built sufficient security into their products to prevent a dedicated hacker from causing problems. Their approach so far has been that they will toughen up security in updates or in more expensive later model versions. While your personal devices may not warrant the attention of most hackers, your devices’ Internet IP address can be universally accessed along with million of other “Internet of Things” devices though existing hacker programs. This WorldStart article is very remiss in not pointing out the risks associated with this newer technology.

  4. elbo says:

    and wait until the hackers figure out how to screw up your smart cars, you will be stuck somewhere and not be able to move unless you pay a ransom

  5. Jamie says:

    Come on folks, all new tech comes with risks. We won’t continue to advance if everyone argues what if scenarios with new products. If someone wants to cause trouble they will find a way, so don’t stop living. My 2 cents…

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