Consumers in the market for a new home appliance and hoping to find something with smart features built in will be happy to learn that is exactly what Whirlpool brought to CES 2018. The breadth of the new products includes around 20 different machines – which the company collectively categorizes into either The Whirlpool Smart Kitchen Suite or The Whirlpool Smart Laundry. Whirlpool appears to have leveraged its undeniably extensive experience in the home appliance market to find a balance of features and interconnectivity that should suit the overwhelming majority of consumers – as well as giving it an edge over the competition.
Starting with its Smart Kitchen Suite, Whirlpool's appliances boast several innovative features that consumers aren't likely to find elsewhere. Although the sheer scale of features is far too massive to include here there are few that are especially noteworthy. For starters, one feature called Scan-to-Cook extends across the oven, range, and over-oven microwave and effectively allows homeowners to scan a packaged food item in order to automate pre-heating and cook time settings. Taking that even further, household members can also set and adjust preferences for a given food item if they need to be tweaked to meet their expectations and even more recipes can be set. That also works with complex multi-appliance recipes. Meanwhile, Whirlpool has included Amazon's Alexa in its appliances, allowing quite a few actions to be enabled by voice commands, such as asking the refrigerator to generate more ice. Linking an Amazon account will also allow for Amazon Dash style re-ordering of some items, such as dishwashing detergent to be automated when the machine senses that it is getting low. Better still, that can be accomplished via some of the appliances' built-in color touch screens.
Both Amazon Alexa and the above-mentioned Amazon Dash functions make an appearance here as well. That allows homeowners to talk to their appliances in order to start or stop a cycle on command – or to run a special mode called Wrinkle Shield to keep clothes wrinkle-free in the event that there just isn't time to take them out and fold them yet. Meanwhile, linking an account provides for convenient automation of tasks associated with ordering more laundry detergent. On that same thread, and as with the kitchen appliances, Whirlpool's new Laundry Room Suite also features remote control options via the Whirlpool app. The laundry room is also apparently the only area where Whirlpool has integrated smart home devices outside of the suites. Namely, Nest Thermostat integration will help save energy by running longer Eco Mode cycles when a user sets their thermostat to Away Mode. Finally, the new appliances across either suite include smart notification capabilities. That means homeowners don't need to keep glancing down at their smartphone or running to the kitchen or laundry room to check on the oven or dryer.