Smart homes get even smarter with connected appliances
Imagine texting with your washing machine or your refrigerator. It’s not the future; it’s now in the world of connected home appliances.
At the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, manufacturers displayed an array of connected home devices, from a range with an Android tablet built into it, to whole-house systems that let devices talk to each other and to the homeowner.
Some smart appliances use an app or embedded device to communicate, but they don’t always need Internet access to be smart.
Simply put, a smart home offers eyes and ears to monitor every door and window, as well as the ability to talk to you when something changes. This translates into real, practical applications when it comes to safety, security and surveillance.
LG demonstrated HomeChat, which uses natural language via text to communicate. If you send a text, “What are you doing” the dishwasher will respond with which cycle it’s on. HomeChat works across appliances like refrigerators, washing machine and a robotic vacuum cleaner.
Using HomeChat, users can download up-to-date wash cycles to suit their personal needs and also receive recommendations via HomeChat if a wash cycle has been updated and needs to be downloaded again. HomeChat can also be used to remotely start a load of laundry, monitor the status of the washer, and receive push alerts via smartphone or LG Smart TV when a wash cycle is completed.
Samsungs’ Smart Home Brand enables smart TVs, appliances and smart phones to connect through a single platform. Samsung will also make the platform available to other manufacturers to build an eco-system of connected home devices.
The system will connect refrigerators and washing machines to Smart TVs, digital cameras, smartphones and even the wearable device GALAXY Gear—through an integrated platform and server.
Through the integrated voice command function on all the controller devices, uses can control all their connected devices. If a user says ‘going out’ to his GALAXY Gear device, home lighting and selected appliances are turned off. If the user says ‘good night’ to their Smart TV remote control, the TV will be turned off and lights dimmed and gradually turned off in readiness for sleep. Users can also use chat control on their smartphone app as a fun, convenient way to communicate with their devices.
Dacor launched its Discovery iQ 48-inch Dual-Fuel Range, the world's first range to feature an integrated, wirelessly-connected tablet. The range incorporates the proprietary Dacor iQ Controller, a sleek new control panel for today's sophisticated chef. The range also features the Dacor iQ Cooking Application that empowers users with all the tools they need for precision cooking. With the release of the new Dacor Remote iQ Cooking Application, home chefs can control the range via any smart phone or tablet, from anywhere they are connected.
There’s even an internet connected toothbrush so parents can monitor their kid’s brushing habits. The Kolibree toothbrush connects to your smartphone via an app. Parents can monitor length of time brushing and whether the brusher reached the all the important parts. The company is opening up the device to third-party developers to design brushing game apps as well.
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Gary Wollenhaupt is an experienced writer and editor, with a background as a daily newspaper reporter as well as corporate and agency public relations and marketing. He is constantly looking for affordable green upgrades to make to his home in eastern Kentucky.www