Under cabinet lighting and LCD TV screens in the door of the fridge may not have become commonplace in all kitchens but they are certainly more common than ever before. You don’t have to live in an ultra-modern bachelor pad to be able to enjoy these kids of futuristic developments either.
The Internet is virtually everywhere around us. It’s on our desktops, laptops, and tablet computers, smartphones, TVs, and even blu-ray players. Games consoles and landline phones also benefit when connected to the Internet. With some digging around, if you’re that way inclined, you can even get hold of WiFi enabled weighing scales that allow you to track and even Tweet your weight. There’s a smartphone controlled garage door and an assorted bevvy of other Internet enabled devices. Smart appliances are definitely the way of the future.
Expect greater integration. Imagine a fridge that knows your regular food orders and knows roughly what you’ve been cooking for the past few days; a coffee machine that can estimate how many pints of milk you’ve consumed. When combined with Near Field Communications, which is already present in a lot of smartphones, your fridge could text you to let you know that you need milk when you’re next at the shop.
Digital solutions to everyday problems are likely to be more prevalent too. The Samsung RL55VQBRS Freestanding Fridge Freezer may not have the most memorable title but it does have an array of brilliant features. Sure it has a total capacity of 328 litres and stylish LED tower lighting, as well as good looks and charm but it also has an LCD screen that will effectively do away with hastily scribbled notes, sun faded post its, and family photos held up with years old fridge magnets.
The LCD screen does everything you would expect a fridge controller to do. It allows you to change the temperature of the fridge, the freezer, and the separate fridge compartment that allows for a different temperature setting. It even lets you determine how bright the LED lighting should be. Where it differs from the average fridge though, is in the additional features that it offers.
Insert an SD memory card and press a few touch screen buttons and you can view a slideshow of your chosen photos – gone are the fridge magnets and photos with curled corners. Another press of the touch screen and you can bring up a schedule screen with monthly calendar. Mark all of your family’s vital appointments and you won’t need to miss a thing again – gone are the scrawled appointment notes in illegible handwriting that typically find their way under the fridge rather than on it.
Imagine the same fridge freezer connected to the Internet and your home network (it isn’t too great a leap). Your kitchen calendar can synchronise with your smartphone calendar and your online calendar so you only have to update it once to be able to keep track of your meetings. Photos from Facebook can be displayed on your fridge or you can upload pictures to Flickr while you benefit from having them displayed on your fridge door for all to enjoy.
Speakers could be secreted around the body of the fridge and you would be able to replace the kitchen stereo. Effectively, if there’s anything you do while you’re stood in the kitchen and it could be replaced by an Internet enabled fridge app then a manufacturer somewhere is probably already designing it.
From a sales point of view, manufacturers want you to fill your kitchen with their appliances and one of the best ways to do this is to advance the ways in which appliances work together. As well as smart freezers, we are likely to see appliances that combine with one another to give the greatest benefit while encouraging homeowners to buy a whole range of products made by one single manufacturer.
The trend in technology is for things to get smaller, at least initially. While there’s a new lineup of smartphones that are bigger than the average pocket, the world’s biggest manufacturers had previously competed to create what was the smallest mobile phone. Even laptops became netbooks which became ultrabooks and tablet PCs could be viewed as an extension of a mobile phone or a pared down laptop. Appliances may not get much smaller in their overall design but their increased functionality will mean that they save space when compared to the purchase and display of various items.
Manufacturers will be vying for our attention in years to come and, as well as some genuinely useful and beneficial smart- and Internet enabled appliances, there’s bound to be some of the more banal and plain ludicrous to look forward to too.
This guest post was written by Appliances Online – One of the UK’s largest online appliance retailers and a sure fire place to find all your connected appliances