For years, people have imagined an automated house that simplifies the process of doing household chores. Imaginations have come up with kitchen systems that prepare food for you and beds that make themselves. As technology has advanced, we’ve actually begun to see more and more household systems integrated remotely, and managing household chores in the future using technology is looking more bright.
The most recent set of innovations have allowed people to sync their smartphones with household appliances. Control a robotic vacuum cleaner, start your washing machine or defrost your refrigerator, all from your smartphone. In addition to starting or stopping appliances when you’re away from home, smartphone apps can do several other important jobs, including tracking energy use, sending you notifications and helping diagnose problems.
Managing Household Chores in the Future
Monitor your utilities
Many people these days are concerned about how much energy their appliances are using. When you’re trying to develop strategies to use less energy in your home, having detailed information about what you’re spending money on is a big help. Smartphone apps like GE’s Nucleus can show you graphs of how much energy each linked appliance is using, broken down by time of day. If you have different rates at different times in your area, your phone can help you manage your systems to get the lowest rates. You can also identify problem appliances that are using more energy, helping you adjust your habits to reduce your use.
Wondering, while you’re driving out of town on vacation, whether or not you remembered to turn the oven off is no longer a problem with an oven that’s synced to your phone. Appliances can send notifications at problematic times, like when your oven’s been on for longer than normal, when your load of laundry is unbalanced during the spin cycle or when your refrigerator door is ajar. You can also get more basic notifications through your phone, like when the oven timer goes off in case you’re too far away to hear it or when your clothes are done washing so you can get the next load started.
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Having appliances that sync to your phone also means appliance repair technicians can perform some basic remote diagnostics. They can sync to the appliances as well and learn at least a little bit about what’s going on, without having to play a game of 20 questions with you over the phone. These troubleshooting capabilities can save you time and money on repair for your appliances.
Switching over to an increasingly automated household will take time, but the switch to appliances that are compatible with home management smartphone apps will be worth the effort. If automation and more detailed control is something that matters to you, consider it next time you make a big purchase so you can transition your home into one that you can increasingly manage from a distance. Programming the oven to preheat while you’re on the way home from the office will make meal preparation at the end of a long day just a little easier.