Connectivity has been the major thrust of kitchen appliance innovation in recent years. Emphasis has been on developing “smart” products with Wi-Fi connectivity. The goal has been to develop appliances that can communicate with one another and with you.
Appliance manufacturers have been working diligently to integrate their products into the Internet of Things — the idea of connecting appliances and other items to the Internet via cloud technology. Such technology provides consumers with remote control capabilities and facilitates receiving text messages and alerts from their appliances via a smartphone, tablet or computer.
This has required manufactures to develop or acquire the needed technology. Whirlpool, for example, has partnered with Nest (developer of the Learning Thermostat). LG introduced its ThinQ technology to control its smart appliances, home entertainment and mobile devices, and Samsung acquired SmartThings (producer of a hub that talks to appliances via sensors).
There’s no doubt that today’s home appliances offer real connectivity, allow you to monitor their function, provide self-diagnosis alerts for maintenance requirements, automatically work to reduce energy usage and are beginning to learn and react to the behavior of individual users.