It almost seems like something straight out of an episode of the The Jetsons–washing machines that text and communicate with smartphones, refrigerators that stream music from the Internet, ovens that are capable of downloading recipes and teaching its users how to cook, and bathroom scales that can use Wi-Fi to not only record weight, but also tweet it to the world. Although there weren’t any flying cars or robotic maids, the Consumer Electronics Show showcased plenty of Internet-connected, “smart electronics,” according to CNN reports.
Among offerings from Samsung is their smart refrigerator, which will retail for $3,500 in May. The refrigerator features a touchscreen located above the ice dispenser. Designed to bring the highest convenience and convention to its users, the refrigerator comes with the capability to download recipes from Epicurious and to make posts on Twitter. It also allows its users to keep up with the news as well as create task lists and shopping lists. In addition to the touchscreen, the refrigerator comes equipped with two speakers and a photo-card reader, which allows users to stream music from the Internet and load digital photos. Like Samsung’s televisions, the refrigerator also can run a wide variety of apps.
Samsung is not the only company to create a smart refrigerator. LG is also a contender with its refrigerator, which is capable of telling users what foods they have in stock and when they are due to expire based on information entered by the user. The company also brings to the table an oven that can text its users when a dish is ready, among other appliances that communicate with their owners.
Convenience isn’t the only factor that these companies are considering. For some appliances, energy savings are also of importance. For example, LG’s laundry appliances are able to run diagnostics to determine based on other household energy use, when the best time to do laundry is. Panasonic is also energy-focused and showcased two mock-up appliances at CES that learn user habits to operate more efficiently. For example, the company showed of a refrigerator that is conscious of user patterns and adjusts cooling to it.
Could these appliances become a regular part of our future? With the regular integration into our lives of things like cell phones and video calling that had always seemed unattainable, widespread use of these smart appliances may become a reality.
I too was there and I have to say that the Samsung refrigerator with the iPad-like tablet was super cool. At first it seemed like overkill but on my drive home I realized how flippin’ cool (no pun intended) it would be.
I wouldn’t have to get online to get the weather so I know how to dress my kids for the day. And how great it would be to have a slide show of pics (for those of you who don’t have a stainless steel fridge you don’t realize it is impossible to stick pics up on them because magnets don’t stick so instead I look like a mother who is embarrassed of her kids school pics). Not to mention the recipe possibilities and so much more!
Though I do have to say that you also missed mentioning GE’s Smart Grid feature for their appliances. The cool thing about their energy saving system is that it helps you save money as well. They figured out that they sell energy and you would probably prefer to buy more of it at cheaper prices so why not make your appliances smart enough to talk to the energy company and work harder when it was cheaper to do so.
Also, Kenmore has a new device that is already included in several models on the market that allows you decrease your down time. Basically when you call for service, you just place your phone up to the fridge and they can actually talk to it. Best part is by knowing what your problem is all they have to do is bring the right parts and fix it. One service call — no muss, no fuss.
Those are the things that really caught my eye and considering I’m a very knowledgeable customer as I work for a refrigerator review site — http://www.RefrigeratorPro.com