Fancy smart fridges and other souped-up, automated home appliances have, to this point, dropped on the consumer electronics market like a wet brick. Maybe that’s because consumers don’t want a touchscreen in their refrigerators, or maybe it’s just because no one has implemented the whole concept well yet.
Call me crazy, but I think Control4 and Sub-Zero/Wolf Appliances, along with Card Access, have finally made the concept work. For one thing, they’re not trying to sell you a new refrigerator with fancy controls on the door. I’m sure they’d to sell you another new one, but if you’ve bought a Sub-Zero/Wolf Appliance in the past few years, it’s already ready for this new control revolution–you’ll just need a quick update from a certified Sub-Zero/Wolf technician before it’s ready for the module that makes all of the communication possible.
Another thing that sets this new smart appliance paradigm apart is that it doesn’t rely on interfaces built into the appliances themselves. It’s more about letting your home automation system tap into the controls and diagnostics that certified techs have been able to access for years, in new and exciting ways. Once your Control4 home automation system is updated with the free new Smart Appliance App, you’ll be keeping tabs on your appliances from the palm of your hand via a Control4 touchscreen remote, or even your iPhone/iPad.
You can even integrate your lighting control system and appliances so the lights in the living room subtly flash when it’s time to ring the dinner bell. It can also send error codes directly to your Sub-Zero/Wolf tech if there’s a booboo that needs fixing.
Then there are the less obvious implementations: switch your home automation system into Party Mode, for example, and the system can automatically up the ice production in your Sub-Zero freezer. Put your home into Vacation Mode, and it can put your appliances into a more energy efficient mode. There’s even something called “Sabbath Mode for religious observances,” and I’ll have to admit, I have no idea what that means, but for us Dudeists, every day is a… wait, is this a… what day is this?