The automated home has led to many conveniences for the homeowner. He or she has the power to monitor all the home’s function from anywhere there’s an internet connection.
Automation includes controlling the home’s climate, video surveillance, lighting control and much more. These automated devices are designed to make the homeowner’s life easier by performing the mundane tasks of maintaining a home.
Automated or Smart appliances have always been at the top of the list for manufacturers and consumers alike. As technology advances automated kitchendevices and appliances are becoming more of a reality. However, we must differentiate between the terms automated and automatic. Automatic devices and appliances have been around quite a while.
Automatic appliances includes toasters that pop up the toast when it’s ready or washers and dryers that go through washing and drying cycles then shut off. These appliances are automatic but they are not what we can truly call automated or smart.
There have been some new appliances and kitchen devices entering the market place under the category of Smart appliances. These devices host LCDs, internet connections and remote interaction with the user.
The T9000 is a refrigerator from Samsung that has a LCD screen that shows a clock and connects to the internet for the latest news. It also allows a user to enter any item they may be in need of and that information will be sent to your phone. The cost for this magic is approximately $4000.
LG Electronics manufactures a refrigerator that will keep track of your groceries and expiration dates. This is accomplished by scanning your grocery receipt into your phone. This fridge has the ability to offer dining menus based on what’s stored on its shelves. When you’re out of an item simply click on the LCD screen and order what you need. This is possible because this refrigerator is connected by the internet to your favorite e-transaction based grocer.
For approximately $3000, you can have a dishwasher that can determine how much water and detergent is required by the amount of dishes to be washed. This machine will also send you an alert through the internet if there is a malfunction during the wash cycle.
Another internet aware product is the Multimedia Kitchen S1 Grid Infotainment Interface. This touchscreen system will keep you abreast of the latest internet news, RSS feeds, e-mail and video. It even comes with its own web site. You can also get reports on any compatible appliance connected to it. View progress reports on such things as how long before the dishwasher completes its cycle on-screen as you’re enjoying your favorite TV show. You’ll also have full control over the home’s multimedia entertainment system.
The Automated Kitchen Island by a company called Ernestomedia provides a clean look when the kitchen is not in use. The top of the unit is controlled by a microprocessor. When it’s needed, the top of the unit raises exposing the working area, as the unit raises, faucets appear and the stainless steel sink area slides out ready for duty. Upon finishing its tasking, the sinks and faucets retract and the top is lowered, revealing the elegant food preparation area.
Kitchen appliances are not the only devices that include interactivity and automation. A washing machine by digital Smarts will send you on-screen status updates for your laundry as you view your favorite TV show. This washing machine can also alert your Smartphone if there is a problem during the laundry cleaning cycle. You’ll also have the ability to remotely adjust the controls through your internet connected device. No more worry about the laundry when you’re on the road.
Calling these devices automated or smart has to be taken with a grain of salt. You should understand that often placing a LCD screen on an appliance and giving it internet connectivity is the criteria for a Smart appliance. Actual automation may be a few years down the road. Currently the washing machine or dishwasher can only notify you that there is a problem through an internet connection. You still must load and unload these appliances in order for them to complete their tasks. The refrigerator has no way of telling you how much or what condition an item of food is in.
True automation may be a few years away, perhaps in the form of a washer that can load itself or a dryer that will fold the clothes after their finished. Until that day, these modern appliances will keep you abreast of the news and offer some really cool touchscreen technology. They’ll also provide style and interactivity with the rest of the automated home.