How Smart Appliances Will Change Our Domestic Lives
Image by LGEPR
There’s no doubt that technology is invading every aspect of our existence. From smartphones to Wiis to iPads, gimmicks and gadgets and gizmos are prevalent in practically everything we see and do on a daily basis.
This new technology is also creeping its way into the humble home appliance, to the point where so-called 'smart' appliances are being hailed as the most revolutionary technology to enter our home.
The actual ‘smart’ aspect of the appliance itself refers to two things: the interactive element of an existing smart device, such as a tablet or smartphone, allowing you to control the appliance remotely; and the smart grid, which responds to utility signal reminders to use lower-priced energy periods.
The modus operandi of smart appliances is effectively to give us more control over our appliances, as well as reducing energy consumption and subsequently, our bills.
But the question remains: is it just another flash-in-the pan, flavour-of-the-month gimmick, or do they have real place in our abodes?
The fact that Samsung’s homes appliances division now goes by the name of Digital Appliances reveals much about the direction we’re heading in. Samsung in particular is leading the way with its range of inter-connected and smartphone app-controlled devices.
Given the fact that everyone’s seemingly gadget-crazy, the current market conditions bode well for new domestic appliance innovations.
Here are some of the smart appliances which look set to shape the domestic future of the modern home.
Washing Machines: Something To Get In A Spin About
Some washing machines in the UK are already fitted with smart features, but the US is currently dominating the market with the rest of Europe trailing not far behind.
Here in the UK, the iOS and Android Samsung Smart Washer app is restricted to the Smart Check diagnostic utility. Here, you can use your mobile’s camera to scan an error on the washing machine’s display, which the app then translates to tell you what the problem is.
The Smart Washer app, however, unleashes a whole new lease of life in countries where you can buy Wi-Fi enabled washing machines. Here you can connect to your washing machine when you’re not even in the house, allowing you to set the cycle, get the machine spinning, with the washing machine even telling you how much time is left on your cycle.
It’s the kind of function that’s ideal for going to work, programming the washing machine, and returning home to a full drum of freshly cleaned clothes. And it’s only a matter of time before this particularly impressive – and potentially energy and time-saving – smart appliance will be available in the UK.
This is just the tip of the iceberg though. Manufacturers and techies are already in collusion to design and manufacture domestic appliances that can talk to one another.
For example, how about having a washing machine and dryer in sync, seamlessly seguing from one to the other without you having to operate any controls? And the washing machine could communicate with the TV so a message pops up telling your when the wash has finished.
With a washing machine that has a built-in computer you’ll be able to upgrade it to better software when it’s available. This could be advantageous if, for example, a new fabric was produced which required a new washing program; new software would ensure it was washed properly.
Currently only available in Korea, the Smart Fridge also has a dynamic range of intriguing functions.
For example, it has a built-in touchscreen which you use to tap in the food you’ve just put in it; this creates an index of produce synced to your smartphone, so you’ll always know what food you do or don’t need when you’re traipsing those supermarket aisles. The touchscreen is also linked to several online shops so you could order what you need straight from your phone.
And just when you thought the technology couldn’t get any more impressive, the fridge can even talk to your TV – so if someone leaves the fridge door open, a warning message will pop up on the TV screen.
Appliances As Security
IP cameras have already been fitted to some appliances, but in Korea, Samsung sells an air conditioner that uses an internet connection which connects to weather services and adjust the temperature according to humidity levels.
It might sound futuristic and perhaps even far-fetched, but – from a security point of view - installing a webcam on your internet-connected air conditioning makes sense. It can also transmit footage over the ‘net, making it a perfect additional security measure.
Though technology has clearly got some way to go before smart appliances become a regular fixture in the home – at least we know we can rely on the current incarnations of appliances.
We’ve also the comfort of knowing that, if anything goes wrong, we can always turn to Ransom Spares for our appliance spare parts and accessories.
What do you think of the evolution –and revolution – of smart appliances? Share your thoughts in the comments.
By Lee Gilbert
Category: Articles, News & Tips