Smart appliances are the new standard in kitchen equipment, laundry machines, and more. Like all varieties of appliances, there are a wide range of types when it comes to smart appliances. Features vary widely, but the basic concept is the same—to make your job easier and to integrate with other systems in your smart home. While smart appliances function like your standard appliances, they contain a computer that allows them to connect to WiFi so they can be controlled remotely. If you’re considering transitioning towards smart appliances, here are some things you should know.
What are Smart Appliances?
Most smart appliance technology works alongside other smart systems, namely phone apps. You can also sync your smart appliances with personal assistants like Alexa or Google Home. In addition to convenience, smart appliances are capable of lowering your utility bills by tapping into the energy grid during less expensive times of day.
Gadgets make your daily life easier. After all, what would you do without your Magic Bullet or your garlic press? Small smart gadgets take that convenience one step further. For example, electronic scales like the Perfect Bake Pro connect to an app on your phone and monitor your measurements in real time, letting you know if you have enough of an ingredient. There’s a similar device that helps you accurately concoct your favorite cocktail too. Some even monitor your health by recording details of your diet. Even kitchen thermometers have entered the world of Bluetooth with probes that monitor the temperature of different dishes and a phone app that lets you know when they are done. Another handy kitchen gadget you didn’t even know you needed is an inversion circulator that maintains the perfect water temperature in a pot or bowl without the use of a stove.
Small appliances have helped generations of cooks open cans, auto-start coffee, blend, whip, and puree. Now smart appliances take it a step further with less effort from you. One example is a microwave available through Amazon that can take commands from Alexa. Surprisingly it looks like a regular countertop microwave and offers a low price tag. It has some limitations but is an example of where we’re headed in the realm of smart appliances.
Then of course you also have coffee pots that you can activate with a phone app. Who doesn’t love the idea of starting the coffee without getting out of bed? Outside the kitchen, Roomba’s been self-cleaning floors for several years, but now the smart version makes it even easier for you to control. By downloading an app or using voice commands you can put Roomba to work the moment you find out company’s coming. You can even work your smart air purifier remotely to monitor the air quality in your home.
The major appliances in your home have also driven into the smart appliance era. Refrigerators can take an inventory of the contents and keep a grocery list. Through an app on your phone, you can even see inside your refrigerator at home while standing at the grocery store. Talk about the ultimate shopping assistant, especially when you forget your shopping list. To make meals easier, Google Home and Amazon Alexa can communicate with your smart oven too, turning up the temp as dinner cooks, or turning off the oven when you get delayed.
Moving into the laundry room, smart washing machines allow you to start the load you forgot to initiate before you left home with a few phone taps. You can also change settings on your wash cycle and receive alerts when the clothes are clean. Similarly, smart dryers allow you to voice command a start or tumble the load for an additional 15 minutes as directed from your phone. Even the general comfort of your home can be controlled with a smart air conditioner that responds to voice commands when you get cold or turns off using your phone app when you are away from home.
The Cost of Smart Appliances
Smart appliances are relatively new, which means that the prices are still more than standard versions for many models. There are some that offer comparable price tags and as they become more standardized, you can expect prices to move more into alignment with average appliance costs.