Tuesday, 19 July 2011

5 Things All Future Smart Appliances Should Do

So after my post about pointless smart home appliances, I thought I'd come up with some ideas on how all future homes and smart appliances could be better. So rather than adding cool but useless features, finding poor excuses to connect something to the internet, we should have good reasons and focus on costing less to run not more, in a financial sense and a ecological one.

  1. Use Less Energy (and any other resource)!
    The most practical thing any new appliance can do is save you money over your current one! But most of the smart appliances look like they'll just put our bills up even more.
  2. Give Energy Usage Information
    Have the ability to find out how much energy it is using or connect to an energy monitor.
    How can you accurately track down what's using all the power in your house without this.
  3. Have an API
    Imagine the potential uses if every appliance in your house had an API. We could actually achieve real home automation. I don't want my washing machine to tell my phone that it's finished it's cycle. But I do want to be able to turn the TV off when the kids should be doing their homework. Maybe my alarm clock could set the shower running. Turn the heating on when my plane lands on the way back from holiday. This could also be used for #2.
  4. Use Homeplug / Powerline
    Stuff WiFi, Just use the power cables. It saves a load of hassle with setting up access to the wireless router.
  5. Be Easily Self-Serviceable
    If you own a Dyson vacuum cleaner you might get what I mean by this. My Dyson vacuum comes apart really easily. All the key parts are colour coded so that I can tell how to take it apart. I can then clean filters, remove blockages, replace parts, etc. All without using any tools.
    This must be possible for other appliances and systems in my house. Obviously there are limits and laws to what a competent person should do. But any improvement on this would save time and money.
More on future smart homes: More Laughable Future Smart Homes (20/10/2011)