Technology On The Horizon: Large appliances get added functionality
In part two of our five part series Technology on the Horizon, our look at the top tech from the Consumer Electronics Show, our Adam Balkin shows us how our big appliances are taking on added functionality.
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May seem odd but, yeah, refrigerators, washing machines, and toasters actually fit in quite nicely at the world’s largest showcase of consumer electronics. Samsung’s T-9000 refrigerator is a good example why. A touch screen on the front hosts apps, among them Evernote so that someone can update the shopping list on the fridge and at the same time it’s updated on the mobile app your loved at the store is using as a shopping list. That same screen can also give you more room in your refrigerator or freezer.
Lindsay Hughes of Samsung Home Appliances said, "The freezer actually splits in half. Half always stays a designated freezer. The other half can be split between a freezer and refrigerator depending on the needs of the family."
Washing machines send messages to phones when the load is done, ovens set themselves to the right temperatures according to cooking instructions in an app. Even kitchen tables are going high tech.
This is a concept from Whirlpool called the Fireplace. Imagine in the future you’re sitting at the table with your family cooking in the middle but not cooking with fire or coils but instead just light.
Rajat Sheil of Whirlpool said, "Light as infrared is already being used for heat but what we’re proposing here is light in the right wavelengths to cook food and what we’re showing here is light from the bottom being used target zones on the cook plate to heat food and cook food."
And actually in infrared light that’s the magic behind the Panasonic Flash Express Toaster - a toaster that developers say hits your target temperature the second you turn it on.
Nick Monaco of Panasonic said, "If you want to set it to 425 degrees on a regular toaster oven, the coils have to charge up and heat up the air to 425 degrees. But ours as soon as it turns on emits 425 degree heat."
It’s designed to cook food 40-percent faster which, for toast, translates to approximately 40 more seconds you get before getting out of bed each morning.