Our technology is progressing at an amazing and sometimes frightening pace. A century ago, we barely had electricity in our homes, and the first flight was only achieved 120 years ago. Nowadays, both air travel and electricity are so ubiquitous that we don’t really think about them.
With the advent of the internet and the increasingly interconnected world, it appears that everything is getting connected to the internet. Even our home appliances that have a very specific purpose can be hooked up to the world wide web and become connected.
To learn more about these so-called smart appliances, we talked to the experts in all things home appliances – Lars Appliances. Here’s their take on the smart revolution.
Pretty much any appliance that can be connected to the internet and send and receive commands from a remote controller can be considered a smart appliance. The so-called Internet of Things, or IoT is the platform that connects all of these devices.
Thanks to the advancements in chip manufacturing and the miniaturization of electronics, increasingly smaller appliances can be turned into smart devices. And with increased volume of manufacturing, even the prices aren’t as prohibitive as they used to be when the technology was brand new.
One of the first widely spread devices that was smartified are certainly thermostats. They are relatively simple and have a limited number of functions they need to perform. And they are already fixed to the wall, so powering and connecting them to the internet was fairly easy.
Nowadays, companies such as Nest, Ecobee, and Honeywell offer a wide variety of products with increasingly complex numbers of features. But the essence is the same – you’re able to control the temperature in your home via your smartphone or any other device that is connected to it. These thermostats are great for conserving energy – not having to heat or cool your home while you’re all away, while also not having to wait in discomfort while the temperature normalizes sounds like a no-brainer.
Another device that has progressively been getting more complex and ‘smart’ is certainly your washing machine. Not only are modern washing machines able to identify colors of your clothes and materials, they can even self-diagnose and let you know if there is a problem.
However, the true appeal of smart washers and dryers is the security that nothing will go wrong if you leave your house while they are on. If anything does go wrong, you will get a notification – and the peace of mind is priceless.
You may not immediately think of a use-case for a smart cooking range. However, with such an appliance in your home, cooking becomes that much easier. Setting the oven or the cooktop to the ideal temperature for the recipe you found on your phone can be as easy as tapping a setting on your phone.
And if you leave something cooking in the oven, you can count on the smart oven to turn itself off when dinner is done. And you can set it to reheat your food remotely – it can be just ready by the time you get back home.
Even though they technically don’t count as appliances, smart bulbs just go to show how small and seemingly inconspicuous a smart device can be. Smart bulbs can be turned on or off remotely, and some models can even change the temperature of light, or even colors.
The big question is whether you need to buy a smart appliance. And the answer depends entirely on you. These appliances exist and offer some extra features at a somewhat higher price. What you need to think about is whether these features make sense to you and if you can justify to yourself paying that extra bit for them.