It won’t be long before you’ll have a connected kitchen appliance in your home, though Whirlpool says we’re only just at the point where more than 50 per cent of consumers are open to the idea.
“Our research shows that in key countries more than half of the consumers tell us they are ready for connected appliances,” said Carl-Martin Lindahl, head of products and brands at Whirlpool Europe. Lindahl was talking at Whirlpool's IFA 2015 press event.
Whirlpool is planning on rolling out connected appliances across its various brands, although it will start with the German-based Bauknecht brand rather than Hotpoint, Whirlpool or KitchenAid.
“For us this is an ongoing evolution”, adds Lindahl. “Indesit customers they want to save time, so there’s an obvious [fit there] for connected appliances.”
The Android and iOS app is called BLive and can could control dishwashing, washing, drying and refrigeration/freezing. Lindahl suggested that the app will also help users get more from their appliances since people don’t often use them to their full capability.
He also adds that one of the benefits of connected appliances will be that they can talk to each other – for example the washing machine will be able to tell the dryer what fabric was used and what cycle was run. You can also set washing cycles by telling the app what you’re washing rather than having to worry about selecting the right programme; the app will suggest that for you.
Lindahl says that Whirlpool’s user testing on connected appliances have thrown up some interesting results. “We found that 1 in 4 users actually stopped interacting with the appliances in the traditional way and just used the phone and tablet app.”
“Our dishwasher can schedule [the cycle] at any time of the day. The app will tell you when the cheaper energy tariffs are, so you can run it then. If you have a half load, you can tell it. One out of three dishwasher [cycles] were in that way.”