The future is here
Modern households are looking more and more like the Jetson’s every year. New technological innovations unveiled at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas reveal a strong (and increasing) trend towards integrating automation and smart technology into everyday household appliances.
First up: Samsung’s Family Hub fridge
Take, for example, Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator. Its large screen can show a slideshow of family photos or can hold important notes and reminders, replacing the old refrigerator magnet with a digital display.
Cameras take pictures of the refrigerator’s contents every time the door is closed, so that you can use your smartphone to see what you have in stock from anywhere at any time. You could check to see if you need more milk while you’re already out at the grocery store. Through a partnership with MasterCard, you can also use the Samsung Family Hub to order groceries from home.
LG gets super futuristic, too
Not to be outdone, LG has also debuted a refrigerator with futuristic new technologies. The LG Signature refrigerator has a floor-level sensor that you can step on to open the door without using your hands – especially helpful when holding armfuls of groceries.
Supposedly, the censor can tell the difference between you and your dog. What’s more, when you knock on the door, it becomes transparent and lights up, allowing you to browse the contents without opening the door, thus keeping the refrigerator cold and saving energy.
And of course Whirlpool upped their tech game
Whirlpool’s smart washers and dryers can be started remotely with a smartphone app. They’ve also added Amazon Dash buttons to their smart dishwashers and clothing washers and dryers. You can pre-load your appliance with buttons corresponding to the supplies you use to automate reordering.
The machines analyze your wash cycle to estimate when you’ll run out of soap, then reorders refills for you, which are delivered through Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service.
Time and consumer response will tell whether these new gizmos and gadgets are worth their weight. Are these tech tricks just a novelty? Or will they truly add convenience and ease to our household chores?
The price point of these first generation technologies are rather high, so we won’t know for a number of years what the market will actually yield, but we’re betting that some of the features rolled out at this year’s show will stick in the long run.