Appliance smart features have now reached the dishwasher market. But what can these new features do for you, and do you need them?
Frankly if you are buying a dishwasher in the near future, this isn't a question you need to worry about yet. Dishwasher manufacturers are stepping into the smart appliance world cautiously, and connectivity features are only available on a couple of models.
But if you want evidence that a wave of smart appliances are coming ... just take note of the fact that technology reviewer CNET launched a new home appliance review section in September 2013.
In 2013, appliance manufacturer Bosch started a new company 'Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions'. This firm will develop sensors and software which will be able to activate your dishwasher and other home appliances automatically. As products get 'smarter', monitoring apps will be able to tell you if you remembered to switch the iron off.
As for dishwashers, in the new world of the connected kitchen, you will be able to:
If you want to look at a dishwasher model that can already do this, see Whirlpool's WDL785SAAM dishwasher. It is the only dishwasher which is part of Whirpool's 6th Sense Live range of smart appliances.
It isn't only smart apps that bring dishwashers into the new digital world. Most mid and high-end dishwashers now come with a range of smart features to save you time and money.
Digital controls are quite common, and can give a sleek look to your appliance. For example, touch pads can be on the top of the dishwasher door, so they are invisible when not in use.
Smart sensors detect how dirty your dishes are, and automatically adjust water pressure and levels to give you optimum washing. This typically saves energy and water, so is a good energy efficient feature to look out for.
But the really exciting times will be when dishwashers really join the smart and connected future.
LG recently released a range of smart home appliances at the Consumer Electronics show in January 2014. The initial range of compatible appliances doesn't include a dishwasher, just a washing machine, refrigerator, oven and vacuum cleaner. However, LG announced that in future, it will be possible to send text messages to communicate to its next generation dishwashers. So if this feature interests you, keep an eye on announcements by LG over the coming months.
Personally I'm looking forward to a time when I can start my dishwasher remotely. And when my dishwasher is clever enough to save me money, by tapping into a smart electricity grid, and using energy at a time when it's cheapest!