It seems like everything is getting smart these days. First the phones were smart, then there were smart thermostats. Now you can buy smart lighting, smart locks, smart cameras and even smart little sensors that can tell you when there’s a water leak or a window is unlocked. What about your appliances, though?
Smart appliances do exist, and they’ve seen a significant increase in popularity in recent years. They offer several useful features, including smartphone interactivity and increased energy efficiency. Consider the following to see if smart appliances are right for you.
What Makes Them ‘Smart’?
So-called “smart” devices are called this because they offer functionality beyond what you would receive from a non-smart version of the device. Smartphones run apps and feature options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC payment options that standard cellular phones don’t. Smart thermostats are programmable and can read temperature data from multiple sensors to create a more comfortable environment throughout the whole home. The same convention applies to smart appliances: They can do things that your regular appliances can’t.
There are a few different options available when it comes to smart microwaves. Some units can estimate the necessary cook time for what you’re heating up. You can also find smart microwaves that adjust their intensity automatically based on how well their contents are cooking, helping to prevent the dried out and rubbery texture that often comes from microwaving. Many smart microwaves can be controlled over Wi-Fi from your smartphone, and some even interface with virtual assistants like the Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa to allow voice commands as well.
Washers and Dryers
Smart washers and dryers are focused on saving you money, adjusting details like water level or dryer heat based on the size of your load to reduce energy costs. The ability to check their status and start or stop a cycle from a smartphone is also a big feature for smart washers and dryers, making it easier for you to control them without having to come back and check periodically to see if they’re still running. In many cases, the washer or dryer can even send an alert to your phone at the end of the cycle so that you know exactly when your clothes are ready.
Energy efficiency is a priority for smart refrigerators as well. In addition to more accurately measuring internal temperatures and working through cooling cycles more efficiently, some smart refrigerators are designed to maintain a more consistent internal temperature by reducing how often you open the door. A video screen in the door can be activated, turning on internal lights and a camera that shows you exactly what’s on the shelves. Depending on the model, these images can even be sent to a smartphone or accessed via an app so that you can get a clear view of what’s in the fridge while you’re at the store.
The Future Is Smart
Of course, these are only a few of the smart appliance options available to you. Smart air filtration systems, ice makers, blenders and more are available to help you live your best life while making your kitchen (and home) more efficient and easier to control. You can even get a Wi-Fi enabled version of your Instant Pot to give you easy control of what you’re cooking, regardless of whether you’re in the kitchen or not. As both these small appliances and larger smart appliances such as ovens and refrigerators become more common, consumers can expect even more connective versions of smart appliances moving into the future.