Unlike Lowe’s, which wants customers to buy into its whole smart ecosystem with Iris, Sears is offering piecemeal solutions to common problems from three of its brands: Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard. Kenmore will roll out a smart air conditioner, water heater, and water softener; a new wireless-enabled Craftsman riding lawnmower is on its way; and DieHard will introduce a smart car battery charger.
The devices will connect to Android and iPhone apps, but it doesn’t sound like Sears has plans to integrate with the Amazon Echo, Nest, or other third-party devices. Instead of automating your whole home, Sears is looking to let you turn on the A/C before you get home or easily adjust the temperature on the water heater.
The new Kenmore Elite Smart Room Air Conditioner is available now for $300.The app lets you remotely turn the unit on and off, as well as set schedules. Later this year, Kenmore will introduce its Smart Water Heater Module ($70) and Smart Hybrid Water Softener ($800). The former lets you monitor water levels and change the temperature from an app, and the softener monitors salt levels and flow rate, to give you an idea about your H2O usage.
The Craftsman riding lawn mowers ($2,800 or $3.200, depending on the model) don’t let you do anything as exciting (and potentially dangerous) as steer the vehicle from your smartphone, but instead the app is all about maintenance, giving you alerts when you need to change the oil and so forth. There will also be how-to videos showing you how to take care of some of the fixes yourself. Finally, DieHard’s new Smart Charger ($100) monitors car, motorcycle, or boat batteries via an app.
It doesn’t sound like there’s a Sears app, but instead a Kenmore app, Craftsman app, and Diehard app, so it seems like you’ll need to scroll to a different place to turn down the A/C while you’re outside changing the mower’s filter.
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