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Humans are inherently lazy. We design and invent things to make our lives easier, faster, and smoother, and we’ve done so since the dawn of time. In the last century alone, we’ve seen cars replace horses, central heating replace hand-built fires, and phones replace the written word.

We’re now moving on to the next level. Smart homes and smart technology are focused on making our initial “lazy person inventions” even more lazy person-friendly. Think hand washing > washing machine > smart washing machine, or pantry > fridge > smart fridge.

There’s no denying it, smart home appliances really will change your life Smart Home Technology That's Going to Change Your Life in One Year Smart Home Technology That's Going to Change Your Life in One Year Turning your abode into a smart home can improve your life for the better. Here we take a look at some of the products that really can change your life within a year. Read More . They’ll save you time and hassle (and maybe even money), enabling you to spend more time doing the things you love.

Here are some of the best smart appliances available today.

Smart Dishwashers

Dishwashers are indisputably one of the best time-saving kitchen appliances. No one likes to spend hours cooking a nice meal for friends and family The Tablet Gourmand: 5 Great Cook's Tools For Making Delicious Meals [Android] The Tablet Gourmand: 5 Great Cook's Tools For Making Delicious Meals [Android] There are very few cooking lovers who can look past a decent recipe application for their phone. Most of us are always keen to find a new application which will let us browse great recipes... Read More , only to have to spend hours more cleaning all the encrusted pans afterwards.

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They first became commercially available in the mid-1950s, eventually becoming commonplace in homes around Europe and North America in the 1970s. They’re due an upgrade.

Two of the best smart models on the market at the moment are the “Whirlpool Smart Dishwasher” and the “Miele SCVi Dishwasher“.

whirlpool-washer

The Whirlpool model has a stack of features to save you both time and money. For example, it boasts a “smart assistant”, which will let you control it via your smartphone when you’re not at home (as well as giving you updates on a cycle’s progress), a stats monitor which will track how much energy is being used, and a component monitor which will let you know when a part either needs servicing or replacing.

The Miele offering is unique thanks to its “AutoSensor” technology. It’ll automatically determine how much water, detergent, and salt is needed for the amount of dishes in the machine, adjusting the corresponding settings accordingly.

Floor Cleaners

You know what it’s like – you just finish mopping the floor when Fido comes charging in from the garden and ruins your perfect surfaces.

Mopping is boring, slow, and probably bad for your back. Thankfully, companies are now working on alternative solutions to the old “mop-n-bucket” approach.

One of the current market leaders is iRobot, makers of the Scooba 450 – a floor scrubbing robot.

It works on any hard surface (such as tiles, lino, and wood), and can even clean around awkwardly-shaped objects such as toilets and kitchen appliances. It’s only 9 centimeters tall, meaning it can clean under lots of furniture without the need to move anything, and it’s also incredibly easy to use – just fill up the tank and let it do its thing.

If you have carpets, don’t worry. iRobot also makes a model called the Roomba – it works exactly the same way as the Scooba, but vacuums instead of mopping.

Smart Tumble Dryers

Tumble dryers are a blessing for anyone who lives in a sun-averse location. They have a reputation for being energy-hogs Save Energy and Money With These Smart Home Devices Save Energy and Money With These Smart Home Devices One of the biggest benefits of a smart home is the energy saving technologies available. As well as saving money, you’ll also be pushing toward a more sustainable, convenient living situation. Read More , but in practice it’s a lot cheaper (and more practical) to run a dryer for an hour than have clothes-horses scattered throughout your home, and the central heating cranked up all day while you’re at work.

The downside of putting your laundry in a dryer when you head out for the day is that you come back to pile of badly creased clothes. Ironing a family’s-worth of clothes is no fun, and takes away the time saving benefits of using a dryer in the first place.

whirlpool-dryer

Enter the “Whirlpool Duet Electric Dryer with Wrinkle Shield“. Although it’ll automatically spin clothes intermittently for up to 90 minutes after the cycle has finished, you can also tell it to spin for longer from your smartphone app. It means if you’re unexpectedly stuck at work or in traffic, you can relax by knowing you won’t have a mountain of ironing to do when you walk in through the front door.

Smart Fridges and Freezers

We’ve all done it. You go to the local supermarket to stock up on food for a couple of weeks Going Grocery Shopping? Top 5 Android Shopping List Apps Going Grocery Shopping? Top 5 Android Shopping List Apps Check out these awesome grocery shopping list apps to help you stay organized! Read More , but when you get home and put it all in your fridge it’s so full that you can’t see (or remember) exactly what’s in there.

This leads to food going bad, ultimately costing you money. In fact, in the United States, approximately 40 percent of the food supply is wasted, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person, per month.

The “LG Smart ThinQ Refrigerator” claims to have the answer. It has a touch screen which, in addition to serving as a potential family organization center, also serves as a way to monitor what’s in your fridge and when it expires.

Indeed, the food manager and the grocery apps work together seamlessly. The food manager keeps an inventory of the food items in your refrigerator Don't Forget That Food! Three Great Android Apps To Get Food From Your Fridge To Your Belly Don't Forget That Food! Three Great Android Apps To Get Food From Your Fridge To Your Belly It's funny how sometimes you see an app and realize that it would be the most useful thing you can imagine. Read More , and when an item is either used or expired it’ll automatically send it to your grocery list app on your phone.

Apparently, the fridge will also use its list of contents to suggest recipes that are available to you. We’re not sure what it’d suggest if you’ve only got one egg, a jar of Nutella, and a bottle of wine, but we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt!

What Are Your Must-Have Appliances?

Have you tried any of the appliances we recommended? How did you find them?

If you don’t have any smart appliances in your home 5 Security Concerns to Consider When Creating Your Smart Home 5 Security Concerns to Consider When Creating Your Smart Home Many people attempt to connect as many aspects of their lives to the web as possible, but many people have expressed genuine concerns over how secure these automated living spaces actually are. Read More we’d love to know why? Is it the cost? Do you think they’re just gimmicks? Have you tried them and been underwhelmed?

Whatever your story, we’d like to hear it. You can leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

  1. Glenny
    January 6, 2016 at 4:07 am

    If they could invent a washer/dryer combo that transfers washed clothes to the dryer automatically, that would be smart and time-saving; I wouldn't have to make two trips to the laundry room for one load of clothes. In my book, having a dishwasher notify me when my dishes are done is completely useless in the same way that having my fridge notify me when foods are expiring is nice but not life-changing.

  2. Kenneth Mitchell
    August 25, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    The Scooba floor-washing robot from iRobot is great in theory, but not so hot in practice. We've gone through three of them because we REALLY WANTED this to work, but...

    1. They aren't very good at getting floors clean.
    2. They're fragile and break a lot.
    3. They're expensive.
    4. They take a LONG time to run a cleaning cycle, and once te cycle is done, you still have to mop the tile floor to pick up the standing water.

    Let me put it this way; I'd rather mop the floors myself with a sponge mop than bother to set up the Scooba gadget.

    We may try it again in a couple of generations, but right now, it doesn't save any time - and it costs a LOT of money to use.

    Sorry, iRobot; maybe next time.

    • fcd76218
      August 25, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      "We may try it again in a couple of generations"
      Would that be device generations or human generations? :-)

      • Kenneth Mitchell
        August 25, 2015 at 11:28 pm

        Device generations. :-)

        Maybe when the battery is better protected from the WATER ON THE FLOOR.....

  3. fcd76218
    August 24, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Smart devices in a smart home sound great in theory but in practice they have one fundamental shortcoming - they use WiFi which can be easily hacked. Smart devices are a symptom of "When you're a hammer, the entire world looks like a nail" syndrome. Manufacturers are stuffing processors and WiFi capabilities into everything, whether it needs it or not.

    "Smart Dishwashers"
    Unless the Smart dishwasher can collect the dirty dishes off the table, clean them and put them in the cupboard, it is no different than a "stupid" dishwasher. The dishes still have to be loaded and removed manually. The soap still has to be loaded manually. It is of no importance, other than curiosity, to know when the dishes are done. The only positive about remote control via smartphone is to start the wash in case you forget to hit the start button before leaving the house.

    "Floor Cleaners"
    Our friends who have the Roomba/Scooba all agree that these devices are not as useful as advertised. They do not clean as well as in the ads, a human still has to follow and vacuum up whatever the robots left behind. Robots work sort of well on flat floors. Stairs and anything above the floor level still has to be vacuumed manually.

    "Smart Tumble Dryers"
    Dumb idea. The effectiveness of a clothes dryer in keeping clothes wrinkle-free depends on the type of fabric that is being dried. Wrinkle-free fabrics, out of which much of our clothes are made, will not wrinkle during drying. OTOH, anything made out linen will come out of any drier all mangled, necessitating ironing.

    "Smart Fridges and Freezers"
    While it might be nice to be notified when food has reached its expiration date, being notified is nothing but a mere convenience. Food does not automatically self-destruct when it reaches the expiration date. As for refrigerators or freezers automatically ordering food that is low or out, that is a non-starter for me. They cannot determine the quality of food being purchased. They cannot buy food at the best price (coupons, weekly special, daily manager's specials). They cannot guarantee that the food will be delivered in time for the meal.

    You have recommended or at least highlighted many "smart" devices. Most of them are not a practical improvement over "dumb" devices. Some, like the smart toilet, are downright creepy. I have yet to find any that is a MUST HAVE. And until the security is much improved, I will consider all smart devices a dumb idea.

  4. likefun butnot
    August 24, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I live in an apartment, so my appliances are limited to a fridge and a stove. However, I did spend about $100 to install a bidet. Smart device or not, it's the best $100 I ever spent on my home.

  5. Phid ippides
    August 24, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Appliances that are life-changing provide services that are fundamental to their function. A smart vacuum (or lawn mower) replaces a fundamental component of the vacuuming task, which is the need of a human to manually push or direct the appliance. A smart dishwasher or smart dryer does not replace any fundamental task of what a traditional dishwasher or dryer already does.

    Most smart appliances do not change the fundamental component of their function compared to traditional (non-smart) models, so I consider them to be unnecessary (though perhaps mildly useful).

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