Smart appliances simplify daily life 4 minutes spent reading
Technology

Smart appliances simplify daily life

Björn Lüdtke
Freelance journalist and editor

There are two challenges of modern life that people face again and again each day: using their time as efficiently as possible and organizing their lives while they are on the go.

Within the industry, household appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers and the like are known as “white” goods. But appliances hardly need to be white anymore – today, unique designs and colors in every shade are possible.

With the colofer® brand, voestalpine offers a coating for household appliances, front doors and even building façades that is not only especially wear-resistant and durable but also offers an endless variety of design options: red, blue, shimmering silver – or even the perfectly simulated look of beech wood. For fans of wood finishes, voestalpine produces surfaces with wood “grains” that feel just like their natural counterparts.

Below are a few examples of smart household helpers that can make daily tasks significantly easier.

The smart refrigerator

Smart HomesFor many families, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Everyone passes through at least once during the course of the day, and most are here more often. In many homes the refrigerator also functions as an important bulletin board for important messages. In the smart kitchen of today, however, sticky notes and magnets are a thing of the past. These have been replaced by a touchscreen – for the family calendar, for shopping lists and for messages.

Some models even include entertainment apps and loudspeakers that can be used to listen to music or the radio, or to watch videos and TV.

But the refrigerator also retains its traditional function, of course. And to ensure it is always well-stocked, some manufacturers equip their refrigerators with cameras. When the refrigerator door closes, the smart appliance automatically takes a picture of its contents. The newest photo can then be accessed any time using an app on your smartphone. This lets you see everything that is inside your refrigerator and what you need to buy next time you shop. Some manufacturers even equip their refrigerators with live cams.

The smart coffee maker

The smart coffee maker can be operated from bed using an app. Strength, grind settings and the number of cups can be set individually (or stored for multiple people) and the water level indicator reports through the app how many cups of coffee can still be brewed.

The smart washing machine

The smart washing machine pays off in the long run when it comes to your budget and the environment, since it is not only more convenient and a time-saver but also helps conserve resources: water, energy and detergent.

Some manufacturers offer machines that no longer require the laundry detergent to be added by hand for each load. Instead, the machine supplies itself with detergent from two integrated tanks, in precisely the amount that each load of laundry requires. The program manager selects the proper washing cycle.

Details about the wash cycle as well as the amount of available detergent can be checked via smartphone or tablet. Once the washing machine is finished or the laundry detergent is empty, a message is received. New detergent can then be ordered directly from the online shop.

The smart front door

With the smart front door, the traditional keychain is a thing of the past. As with so many things, the smart phone is also taking over that job. The smart door lock recognizes when the homeowner’s smartphone is within range and automatically opens the door. If the homeowner moves outside of the range, the door locks.

Today’s doorbell is clever as well. When a visitor rings, it silences the volume of the TV and stereo system.

If you are not at home, you can use your smartphone and a speaker, microphone and camera built into the doorbell to inform the mail carrier where to leave a package.

We at voestalpine are already working to further develop the smart front door. What if a steel-clad front door could recognize the hands of the homeowner and automatically open? With pre-coated steel for household products, voestalpine is making the smart home even more attractive and robust.

Björn Lüdtke