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The rise of smart appliances?

5th Jan 15

The rise of smart appliances?

If current trends are anything to go by, it is likely that smart appliances, also known as connected appliances, are going to play a critical role in some of the most exciting developments in consumer technology, and in particular how such technology impacts on how we lead our lives today.

Some of the biggest names in this area are investing huge sums on research and development, with a view to making our lives easier by reducing the amount of time and effort we have to put into managing our homes. Smart appliances represent many of the outcomes of this investment.

What are smart appliances?

The term smart appliance, or connected appliance, simply refers to appliances that you are able to manage through your smartphone, tablet or laptop using Wi-Fi technology. This provides a range of opportunities to better control and manage them. Until relatively recently this kind of convenience was the sort of thing people only experienced in science fiction movies, but appliances like this are becoming increasingly common in many modern homes.

Here are some examples of smart appliances and the opportunities they provide:

Fridges. Having a smart fridge installed in your kitchen means you will be set up to receive a range of notifications to your mobile device or laptop. At a basic level, it can let you know if maintenance or repairs are required. For example, if the temperature is not correct, or if the water filter or seal needs replacing. Certain models are also able to monitor and track data regarding the contents of the fridge and deliver updates regarding how fresh food is, including when use-by dates are approaching.

Thermostats. Numerous organisations, including Nest and Tado, are investing heavily in developing smart thermostats, and with good reason. This is one appliance likely to be of huge interest to many householders given the potential savings from both a financial point of view and from an environmental perspective. Such thermostats will track when you are at home and when you are out, and adjust the temperature accordingly. Over time, they can even learn your preferences and deliver more effectively as a result.

Kettles. A smart kettle is a perfect gift for someone who enjoys a good cup of tea but does not always have time, particularly in the mornings, to make one before heading off to work. Such devices can be controlled by a smartphone, and get on with making a cup of tea while you are doing other things, saving precious minutes in the process.

Alarm Systems. Home security is a priority for all households and smart security systems are now available that you can control from your phone. Sensors across the home send data to your phone allowing you to monitor their status wherever you happen to be, providing peace of mind from the fact you can react quickly if and when you need to.

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