Sunday, April 27, 2014

Do you want your cell phone to talk to your refrigerator and your oven?

Do you want your cell phone to log in a recipe to your refrigerator to see if you have on hand the listed ingredients? Do you then want to turn on your stove from your smart phone to have it pre-heat?

The “smart phone” is leading to “smart appliances” that may do just that.
Engineers are developing new ideas for manufacturers of washing machines, dryers and kitchen appliances that are high tech to most of us. As frustrated as I get with Windows 8 on my Dell computer, I cringe at the thought of struggling with a smart phone in order to use my kitchen.

 “This all shows an interest in forward-thinking home design, but in the end they're mostly just ideas. Electrolux knows the importance of smart appliances, but also sees the field moving at a slower pace when it comes to buying big items.” This is from an article on

I don’t want my appliances doing more than washing clothes, drying clothes, keeping my food cold, cooking my food at the proper temperature or washing my dishes. Now if they could come up with something that would load my dishwasher, I might become more interested in this smart move.

However, the home appliance market isn't exactly noted for its cutting-edge innovation — the models simply don't change very often. They're built to age. A washing machine built twenty years ago will function similarly to its modern counterpart. It does what we expect it to do. It gets our clothes clean.  The newer the design, the more complex the method of use. Only certain detergents will work in some newer washing machines. It seems that the goal of most of the major companies is, however, to continue getting the chore done. That is the major element of any home appliance.

“Compare that to, say, the cellphone, a crowded technological landscape obsessed with making the Next Big Thing. Thankfully, major companies like Electrolux and others are not rushing headlong into changing what has worked well for hundreds of years," says feature writer Yohana Desta.

Consumers are relatively conservative.
When we purchase a major appliance we expect it to last at least 10 years. With all the bells and whistles added to everything now, even the music systems of new cars, life is not becoming easier but more complicated. I think we should start a movement for manufacturers to simplify our lives. Go back to basics when refrigerators lasted for years and years, a typical electric range could be easily repaired, and small appliances were not just thrown away when some small thing went wrong. 
I say thank you to the large appliance makers for keeping us in mind and knowing their customers just want good results, not the latest gadgetry.

What do you think?


DJan said...

NO to having my cellphone load my dishwasher. And NO to any more complexity. This could be a direct result of my advancing age. :-)

Glenda Beall said...

I would think that is true for me also, but I heard that younger people, in their fifties and younger, are objecting to the complicated changes made to new automobiles.
I think that things are changing too fast for most of our population, even the younger folks.
Learning all the new stuff takes so much of our time, and time is valuable and precious.

abbiescorner said...

It would actually be nice if my refrigerator and cupboards would communicate directly with the grocery store when I run out of something, and that merchandise could be beamed over like in Star Trek. This was an interesting post.

abbiescorner said...

It would actually be nice if my refrigerator and cupboards would communicate directly with the grocery store when I run out of something, and that merchandise could be beamed over like in Star Trek. This was an interesting post.

littleleeway said...

My main frustration is with the life-span of newer appliances. I think part of their shorter span (compared with the appliances of my mom's day) is due to their computerized components. But I was also told by a repairman that many parts today are made of plastic vs. metal and wear out much more quickly/easily. And while the part may not be expensive, the labor cost to get to that part is!!! So often it makes more financial sense to replace it. We have become a disposable society.

Glenda Beall said...

Yes, Abbie, when they can make buying groceries that easy, I'll comply.
Sometimes I think I do better if I hire someone to pick up my groceries instead of going to the store myself. The hired person only buys what is on the list. I, however, am am often an impulse buyer and end up with things I had not planned to purchase.

Glenda Beall said...

Yes, Lee, we are too much of a disposable society, I think. I had a great experience with a man of my generation recently.
He took my old slide projector that was stuck and I could not use it to preview slides taken thirty years ago, and he fixed it for me. He would not let me pay him. He used to have a store and sold this product and Kodak cameras. He said it didn't need a part, so he said I could make a donation if I wanted to my church or some charity, but he would not let me pay him. So now I can still use the old projector and sort these slides.