Will smart appliances catch on?

Over the last few years, ‘connected home’ has become a commonly-coined phrase. But while we hear it often, are people actually buying smart appliances and embracing the connected way of life?

Humble beginnings

The first automated home was actually invented in 1950 by a mechanical engineer called Emil Mathias. It was simply an idea back then; a bit of fun from a man with a bright mind. The products didn’t go on sale and the only recognition of the achievement was a feature in Popular Mechanics magazine. Little did Mathias know that, 60 years later, connected home appliances would boom into mainstream existence.

first_connected_home 1950

(Source: http://blog.modernmechanix.com/push-button-manor/)

What makes an appliance smart?

Put simply, a smart appliance (or other product) is one which uses wireless technology to receive real-time data. It is usually controlled by your smartphone, tablet or universal remote and the sole purpose is to make its operation easier and more convenient for the user.

What’s on the market right now?

There’s an abundance of smart kitchen appliances on the market, with alternatives to suit both low and high-end spenders. Popular options include the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator with a 21.5” screen that can stream TV and music, cameras inside that can update your smartphone on the fridge’s contents and an integrated grocery store app for when you need to replenish stock.

Smart washing machines are also a great invention – LG’s SmartThinQ™ technology enables you to control the machine from your smartphone, time a load of washing to finish when you get home and troubleshoot any little bugs the machine may have before they become a bigger problem.

lg-smartthinq_diagram

(Source: http://www.lg.com/uk/washing-machines/lg-FH6F9BDS2)

Another popular option for the connected home is a smart thermostat. The Nest Learning Thermostat burst onto the scene in 2012 with helpful technology that learns from your temperature adjustments and automatically programs itself to keep you comfortable, while also advising you on ways to save energy.

Is this the future?

In a word – yes. The inventors of these smart appliances know their stuff and have created slick designs and functionality that enhance the user experience. Who wouldn’t want to invest in an appliance that increases convenience? And as the price margin between traditional appliances and smart appliances decreases, we should see them become commonplace within our homes.