Unlike CES 2016, there isn’t wall-to-wall smart-home gear at this year’s Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. However, Frigidaire did bring its redesigned Gallery Cool Connect Room Air Conditioner, which has an updated design.
There aren’t a ton of smart air conditioners on the market. Quirky has one, and Sensibo and Tado are devices to retrofit existing window units and let you control them remotely. Considering the popularity of Nest and the fact that many people don’t have central A/C, being able to turn on your portable unit using an app when you’re 15 minutes from home makes a lot of sense. Walking into a sticky, sauna-like house is atrocious, but you don’t want to leave the thing blasting all day either, if no one’s home to enjoy it. There’s also a schedule feature, so you can set it to chill your room — as long as it’s around 450 square feet — to 70 degrees every day at 6:30 p.m.
Frigidaire’s new design makes use of that practicality but it also adds a few updates to the previous version. The front grill, which is meant to be reminiscent of high-end speakers, is attached by magnets. When it gets a gunky, you can pull it off and clean it and replace the filter every few months as well. (Of course, the app for iOS and Android will remind you when it’s time, too.) The vents are positioned on top of the unit, which pushes the air up then out, helping it cool more efficiently, according to Frigidaire.
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The Cool Connect is slated for release this spring, at a price of $329. That’s quite a bit more than a lot of other 8,000 BTU air conditioners, but Frigidaire is hoping you’ll spring for beauty and brains.