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Your smartphone: the remote control for your home

Now you can control your home at the touch of an app

Image Credit: Corbis
Tweets from your fridge: Run out of eggs? Use note-taking and memory-aid app Evernote for shared grocery lists so your partner gets an updated list while he’s out shopping. While you’re at it, talk to your oven to find out how many calories the meal you’re about to have contains
GN Focus

Thanks to an influx of new high-tech appliances, your smartphone can function as a remote control for your home — and thus your entire life.

Manufacturers are vying with each other to create and sell household appliances that notify their owners about maintenance and service, monitor energy consumption, operate via remote access and much more. And the recent Consumer Electronics Show was proof of this, where a series of new wacky gadgets were unveiled, with technology that seemed impossible some decades ago. Smart refrigerators and Android ovens were among the most impressive items on display at this year’s show. The idea is that, thanks to apps, consumers can control devices in their home even when on the move.

Check out these exciting appliances that can connect to your smartphone and change the way you live.

Cool connections

Refrigerators with built-in LCD screens can help users track food expiration dates, leave notes for family members, count the number of times the door has been opened and alert homeowners if the kids forget to close the door. Using a smartphone, shoppers could also look up the contents of their fridge as they enter the supermarket.

LG’s Smart ThinQ Fridge can be connected via Wi-Fi, controlled via smartphone and can also be paired with other appliances from the ThinQ line such as washers and ovens. Similarly, Samsung’s 32-cubic-feet capacity four-door fridge is adorned with a ten-inch tablet preloaded with apps designed to help you and your family get organised. The Android-based fridge has the popular note-taking and memory-aid app Evernote for shared grocery lists so you can add to the list while your partner is shopping. A grocery manager helps you keep track of what’s going into the fridge, fresh food or leftovers, and lets you set an expiration date. Another app, Epicurious, lets you look into your refrigerator and list the ingredients in the fridge — and Epicurious will search through its database to find a recipe for you.

Something’s cooking

New smart ranges of ovens enable customers to monitor various settings, such as time and temperature, via smartphone applications, while letting users know when preheating or cooking is complete. Users can also get reminders about the need to clean their ovens, a process they can trigger while at work or relaxing on the beach.

And even if you are not enthusiastic about cooking, the Samsung Android Oven may turn you into a chef. The MC368GAAW5A oven connects to your Android phone through an app, which then allows you to control the temperature and cooking time. The most amazing feature? The oven can talk to you, and inform you of how many calories each of your meals contain.

Clean sweep

At work the whole day and expecting company for dinner? Use LG or Samsung’s robotic vacuum cleaners. The system allows users to control it from a mobile device and has a built-in camera so that users can monitor their home’s cleanliness quotient from anywhere around the world.

Need the washing done without walking to the washer? Use smart care washers and dryers such as the new WF457 front-loading Samsung washer. The Wi-Fi-enabled washer Smart Control system allows you to stay connected to the washing cycle without having to remain close to the machine. Via a wireless router and a smartphone application, you can monitor cycle selections, remaining time and completion alerts, as well as remotely start or pause the washer — a huge benefit to busy parents.

Tamper with temperature

No more worrying about forgetting to adjust the temperature on your way out. Samsung’s new range of air conditioners can be controlled via your smartphone. By downloading Samsung’s Smart Air Conditioner app, consumers can turn the air conditioner on or off, select the mode, set the temperature and even set a time clock from wherever they are, as long as they have access to 3G or Wi-Fi. Besides, the D’Light Cool Mode function assesses the temperature and humidity of a room and, if required, will modify them, while the Good Sleep Mode gradually lowers the temperature as you fall asleep and alters it again as you wake up.

LG Electronics’ smart air conditioner comes with incorporated Near Field Communication capabilities that permit it to sense the user’s preferences and work accordingly. With the help of this new update, users can set their desired comfort temperature and air speed into the application; users need to tap the smartphone with the air conditioner to make it work.