Smart Appliances, It’s About Time

Recently, as my dishwasher was running, smoke started to pour out of the bottom. Once the initial yelling and rush to turn off the power was over, I had to determine next steps.

As neither my husband nor I are appliance-friendly, we were forced to decide – do we try to schedule a service visit or do we just go buy a new dishwasher? After a lot of back and forth and Internet research, we decided that smoke probably indicates a larger problem and we should invest in a new unit.

We then went through two weeks of washing dishes by hand, repeated frustrating calls with the delivery company and the installer, and hours from work days lost. The best part? Turns out we didn’t really need a new dishwasher. The old one was just wired wrong.

Imagine if my washer had been able to diagnose itself and then send that information back to the manufacturer through a connected system. Imagine if said manufacture ordered a new part and dispatched a licensed service professional to my door, all before I was even aware my dishwasher was about to explode.

This is the brave new world of smart connected products.

At the Consumer Electronics Show this week there’s been much hype around the smart home. From LG’s new Home Chat smart platform that allows you to send texts to your refrigerator, washing machine, and a robotic vacuum, to Samsung Home App that lets you control all your connected devices through a single app on your smartphone or tablet.

Beyond giving consumers the ability to control their home with their mobile devices, Samsung’s Smart Home system will also notify you when it’s time to service your appliances and replace consumables.

GE is also utilizing smart connected products in order to improve the after-sales experience. Service technicians can now connect their laptops to a new generation of refrigerators and other GE appliances to analyze and diagnose problems.

Whirlpool will soon be adding sensors to its appliances that will collect user and usage feedback. This will help Whirlpool suggest complimentary appliances or services or their customers as well as providing diagnostic information to determine when machines require replacement parts and service.

It might be a while before we see the true impact of this new connected world, privacy concerns abound, and new standards will have to be implemented. But I for one can’t wait for that next-generation dishwasher.

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

Nancy Pardo contributed to this story.

This entry was posted in Innovation, IoT and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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