Washers within washers, appliances controlled by apps and appliances that talk to each other were showcased at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show which just closed in Las Vegas this month.
Among the appliances unveiled, Whirlpool showed off a Smart Top Load washer with a touchscreen that simply asks what you’re washing and how you want it be cleaned, replacing confusing settings like “permanent press.” Instead, there are categories for standard household items like bedding, baby clothes and even a “hand-wash” setting to easily allow users to select the proper washer setting. Additional custom wash cycles can be downloaded by a smart phone.
Whirlpool’s Smart Top Load dryer can talk to the Nest –a self-learning, programmable thermostat– and change its cycle settings to a longer, lower-temperature setting, so it uses less energy, saving consumers money.
By communicating with the NEST, both appliances can delay the start of a cycle until a high-demand energy period has passed, helping to save consumers money on their power bills.
Samsung introduced its Dual Door Flex Duo Range which allows users better temperature control than their single door Flex Duo Range.
LG’s new Twin Wash system has a smaller drawer underneath the main tub which allows for smaller, more delicate loads to be washed at the same time as the main tub loads. Both its new washer and dryer can be accessed via an app and users can be alerted via smartphone notifications.
One concern about the “Internet of Things” for home appliances is security. Appliances connected to the internet might help manufacturers troubleshoot problems and save consumers money by running at off-peak energy times, but such devices could be accessed by hackers and other criminals. Experts warned that better security is needed to protect consumer’s information and appliances from hacking.
Photo Credit: Whirlpool Washer, WEL98HEBU. Whirlpool.com.