Whirlpool will add Alexa to nearly all its 2017 appliances

In September, owners of GE smart ovens got a surprise: They could suddenly enable a skill on their Amazon Echo or other Alexa-ready products and start using their voices to control their appliances. That’s the beauty of a smart product: Manufacturers can deliver updates that actually make the product better. (They can also stop supporting and brick some devices, but that’s a tale for another day.) Though it’s been making smart appliances for a while now, Whirlpool announced its biggest lineup yet at CES 2017 : 20 models — including fridges, dishwashers, wall ovens, ranges, and microwaves — will be Wi-Fi-enabled. Voice-activation will also be standard.

That means you’ll be able to ask the oven to preheat to 350 degrees without touching any knobs and — presumably — ask the dishwasher how much time is left in the cycle. Whirlpool doesn’t seem to be touting these features as groundbreaking or must-have; instead, the message seems to be, “Why not make these appliances smart? We can do that and roll out cool features when they’re ready.”

One of those features is what Jason Mathew, ‎senior director of global connected strategy at Whirlpool, describes as Scan-to-Cook. In the future, you’ll be able to take a picture of your frozen pizza or scan its barcode, and your oven will respond by starting to heat up to the right temperature. Though Scan-to-Cook is entirely Whirlpool’s technology, it’s easy to see how it might fit in with its partnership with Innit, a company that wants to digitize food to enable these types of interactions between meal and machine.

Even when you’re not using your voice or your phone’s camera, some models of oven or range will have a learning touchscreen. The first time you turn on the LCD screen, it will have a standard look, but the more you use it, the more customized to you and your habits it becomes. For example, if you always pull your cookies out of the oven at the early end of the recommended range because you like them chewy, it will always adjust its time accordingly.

Whirlpool hasn’t yet given details on pricing for these connected products, but it sounds like it’s looking to deliver the functionality across its offerings, from budget to luxury models.

Updated 1/5/2017: Updated to clarify Scan-to-Cook technology is not part of Whirlpool’s partnership with Innit. 

Smart Home

Leviton’s Wi-Fi Load Center and Smart Circuit Breakers give your home a brain

Is your home ready for a brain transplant? Adding individual smart plugs is quick, easy, and inexpensive, but the benefits are limited to one plug at a time. Leviton's Load Center and Smart Circuit Breakers can give your home a brain.

KBIS 2019: LG adds Tovala’s meal platform to its array of smart oven add-ons

LG Electronics USA is launching new partnerships at KBIS 2019, including a new app integration into its smart ovens that will add Tovala's meal delivery and preparation platform. LG also features partnerships with SideChef, Innit, and Drop.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.

Sony’s weird Wena isn’t a smartwatch, it’s a smart watch strap

Sony's Wena smart watch straps have been around since 2015; but the company has now decided to launch them outside of Japan, starting with the U.K.. The straps convert traditional watch straps into smart watches.
Smart Home

After camera hacks, Nest locks customers out until they change their password

Nest is locking people out of their accounts if it believes there may have been a breach. Users will have to set up a new, secure password before they are able to regain access to their account.
Smart Home

Champagne-colored fridges? Talking toilets? All the appliance trends in 2019

Ever wished you had Amazon Alexa in your bathroom or a brightly colored appliance? The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) starts today, and here are some of the trends we expect to see at the show and beyond.
Product Review

Kwikset Kevo Convert Review: A simple route to a smart lock

While it lacks the features and overall value of the August Smart Lock, Kwikset’s Kevo Convert offers a simple and friendly route to upgrade your front door’s deadbolt. Learn more in our full review.
Smart Home

Your office is a mess, and it’s making Marie Kondo cry. Here’s how to tidy it up

Here's how to "Marie Kondo" your office. If you've been inspired to remove clutter and create a minimalistic workspace that makes you happy and helps you focus on what matters, then we have ideas that you'll want to try.
Smart Home

Innit showcases new solutions for LG’s Signature Kitchen Suite at KBIS 2019

LG Electronics has equipped its new Signature Kitchen Suite devices with a host of technologies and guests of KBIS 2019 can check out the company's new innovations from Innit, including new adaptive cook programs.
Smart Home

Researchers are once again trying to science the gluten out of bread

If you've ever found gluten tough to stomach, help may be on the way. Researchers and farmers are exploring solutions that include gene-edited bread, as well as alterations to carbs and fiber.
Smart Home

Frigidaire goes for ‘wow’ factor with new Gallery ranges, fridges, and more

Electrolux's Frigidaire brand is going all out at KBIS 2019. The appliance manufacturer's introductions this year include new ranges with gas, electric, or induction heating; a new refrigerator; and a new dishwasher in its Gallery line.
Smart Home

Say so long to silver. Samsung brings new colors to household appliances

Samsung introduced two new appliance colors, Tuscan Stainless will be available for several kitchen appliances starting in May and for the Family Hub in August. New Samsung washers and dryers will be offered in Champagne Finish.

Instant Pot prices have dropped on these 5 models by up to $30

Whether you're an Instant Pot beginner or Instant Pot veteran these popular multi-cookers are worth the hype. There are so many Instant Pot models on sale right now, it might be hard to choose. We've rounded up all the deals here so you can…
Smart Home

Qualcomm goes all-in on Amazon Alexa voice control with a new development kit

Qualcomm is releasing an early valentine for smart home device manufacturers. The new development kit for its Wi-Fi networks integrates the Amazon Alexa Voice Service to enable voice control in more devices.