Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: The Progression of Smart Appliances

     Just about a year ago, LG talked about their futuristic refrigerator that has multiple “smart” capabilities. Since the fridge is connected to the Internet through a WiFi connection, it can help manage the contents inside. It includes features such as when your food is expiring, provides you with recipes that incorporate those perishing foods, creates an electronic grocery list of the items you need, and has the ability for you to order groceries right through the screen on your refrigerator (LG Smart Fridge Spots Spoiled Food, Orders Groceries).

     Today, most manufacturers of appliances are continuing in the direction of the future by connecting them to the Internet. Similarly, Google started their virtual shopping experience with Google Shopping Express. So many new technologies are enhancing the user experience with traditional items. For example, you may not even need to go to the store anymore; your fridge will tell you what you need, communicate with an app like Google Shopping Express, and automatically order it for you.

     The future of smart appliances is looking bright and adding a Virtual Butler to the mix will further simplify the experience of the Internet of Everything - i.e. coffee machines, washing machines/dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners, etc. The Virtual Agent comes into play to help manage all these appliances from one user interface. Instead of having to go to multiple apps, you can go to a "Siri-like" Virtual Agent and be able to turn on the washing machine that you forgot to turn on in the morning from your phone and in the same moment turn off the coffee pot that you forgot that morning as well. 

     If a Virtual Butler was within your arm's reach today, what would you use it for? Can you imagine a world where the butler provides troubleshooting, support, and sales advice in the same user interface that you use to control your connected home and devices? 

Happy Throwback Thursday!