Technology is an ever-changing facet of human civilization. It is forever evolving and forever shifting, and every single plane of human life is changing as a result of it, Including the home appliance industry. Home appliances are quite important in our daily routine. Refrigerators allow you to keep food and raw ingredients for longer than they would, thermostats allow you alter the temperature of your home in order to ensure that we are as comfortable as we can. Yet a question persists. How do the newer technologies affect the home appliance industry?
Well to answer the question, one would have to understand the newer technologies themselves.
One technology which has now been introduced recently to the home appliance industry is the smartphone. Smartphones are not new technologies by any means. Since Blackberry’s population spike in 2006 almost everyone in America has a smartphone or at least knows about their existence. The reason smartphones are so popular is the ability to send and receive information quickly. This has made even mundane tasks in our everyday lives efficient and quicker. Rather than physically writing in a journal, you can write on a journal which can be saved on the cloud for access at all times or rather than having to consult a physical map or have to buy a full GPS system you can use Google Maps to reach your destination accurately. The aim of the smartphone is to bring life to our fingertips and the home appliance industry have recently started adapting the smartphone to our home appliances. Nowadays, there are smart washers and dryers which connect to your smartphone via an app and allow you to monitor the cycle and know exactly when the cycle has been completed to ensure clothes don’t spend too long in the dryer. Our smartphones have revolutionized the ease of access of our homes.
A.I. is also a technology that has been important in the creation of home appliances. Artificial intelligence is a very complicated technology but to put it in basic terms it is developing computers and teaching those computers how to conduct tasks which have previously been believed to require human intelligence to complete. This means that computers are now being taught how to detect patterns and learn how to understand those patterns and execute difficult tasks to make life easier. The home appliance industry has recently been using this as a tool to make appliances learn and reduce waste and in some cases even costs. Take the Smart refrigerator for example. This device uses A.I to detect the items in it and can then create a list of them ensuring that the list is available from anywhere. Additionally, the refrigerator also keeps note of when the item was added to its list and it then calculates when it will expire. Newer appliances are also constantly acquiring information and adapting the information to then improve their performance. Smart washing machines for example can automatically find a water level to wash the clothes with and can then detect the perfect water level to use for the cycle. This means there will be less waste of water and detergent and in some cases a reduction in the amount of power used. Furthermore, if you set your schedule in the calendar (your gym schedule for example) when you get back and put your clothes in the washing machine, it will automatically set itself to handle gym clothes which translates to less time interacting with the machine itself and more time spent doing other things.
Smart speakers such as Amazon’s Echo or Google Home have also influenced the home appliance industry. Recently Bluetooth speakers have been fitted with Voice Recognition software and although in its inception the voice recognition technology has been quite shaky, nowadays they are much better at recognizing speech which makes them useful inside our homes. These speakers are then connected to smartphones and then with that you can use your voice to instruct the speaker to complete some tasks such as setting reminders for when something needs to be changed, making grocery lists and even playing your favorite song during the time you would be waking up. Newer home appliances are being built to operate with smart speakers to further the ease of operation. Thermostats and more are now being designed so the users can rely on verbal commands to execute the required tasks and improve the speed in which we interact with the appliances.
Some architects have even gone further to create houses called smart houses. These homes are fully equipped with home appliances which are then connected to the internet and a smartphone. This allows the whole house to be accessible from your phone. Are your lights on while you’re away from your home? Well with a simple application on your smartphone, you can ensure that your lights are switched off. This ensures the adequate management of resources such as water and energy by remote monitoring and having ultimate control over everything.
The home appliance industry has come a long way and with the new innovations it would seem that the industry is focusing on how consumers interact with products. New products are easier to interact and use and many products are designed to gather information. In the future this information could either be used by the device to ensure more efficiency or the information can be sent back to the company so that the company knows when the device would be due for maintenance and much more. Additionally, as a result of how efficient these new appliances can be (especially with the smartphone applications) it could be possible that in the near future it would be possible to have a live video or even a chat with a licensed technician which would help in some situations where something minor is wrong rather than having to call a technician. The future is certainly bright for our beloved home appliances.