Why you should care
A dishwasher with a “6th sense”? We’re really starting to like the Internet of Things.
Until someone invents self-cleaning dishes or makes Rosie the robotic maid from The Jetsons a reality, breaking out the detergent and yellow gloves is a messy chore we all have to deal with. For the gadget-spoiled among us, something about doing dishes in 2014 still feels a little old-fashioned.
Which might be why appliance manufacturers are starting to cater to our hunger for every gadget to be “smart.”
Appliance giant Whirlpool has designed a dishwasher with a sixth sense. Not quite Haley Joel Osment’s sixth sense, but perhaps almost as eerie. Whirlpool’s Smart Dishwasher has “6th Sense Live” technology, which means the appliance can talk to — you guessed it — an app. The dishwasher app can tell you when dishes are done, and you can remotely lock the appliance’s controls and monitor its energy usage. At a base price of $949, it’s not, um, exactly the cheapest dishwasher on the market, but it’s also amazingly not one of the most expensive.
So in case you’ve ever been in the middle of a client meeting at work and had the itching desire to know if your rinse cycle was complete, you’re now covered.
While a smart dishwasher might take more convincing and beefier features to become mainstream, the fully connected smart home may be on the horizon. (I, for one, have always been haunted by the fear after leaving the house that I’ve left the stove on.)
The real key to the connected home will come from whoever develops a single app to connect all these connections.
Whirlpool’s ambitious move to make our appliances smarter is another step toward being more like George Jetson, kicking up our feet when we’re at home or away. The company’s 6th Sense Live Technology is also available in a smart refrigerator and a smart washing machine and dryer pair.
Most of the major appliance brands don’t have smart dishwashers yet but are working on other appliance innovations. GE, for example, has new technology for wall ovens that lets you preheat, check cooking status or set the timer via an app. Fancy Viking Ranges are being developed to have a Bluetooth-connected temperature probe. LG and Samsung both have refrigerators with interactive LCD touch screens.
The real key to the connected home will come from whoever develops a single app to connect all these connections. No one wants to have separate apps for every single appliance or every single brand. It would be ideal if your dishwasher, fridge and garage opener were all controlled in one place. They are all under one roof, after all.
But until that innovation happens, it might be time to step up your dishwashing game. And to see if you can wear that apron as well as Rosie the Robot did.