Appliance Makers Let You Cook and Clean from Afar

Samsung and LG continue to develop Internet-enabled appliances.

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Home appliance and electronic manufacturing giant, LG, has introduced the world (or at least the part it calls home) to its new remote-controlled Lightwave Oven. In addition to being able to microwave, bake, or grill using halogen lights to generate extreme heat all in the same cavity, this cooker takes an interesting leap forward from ovens past. With the help of a handy app available on smartphones and tablets, the Lightwave can be turned on and off, its temperature can be adjusted, and even the self-cleaning function can be activated. Turning an oven on from a distance may seem like an odd feature to develop—after all, nobody wants to cook a turkey and let it get cold again while away—but it is not without its uses. These smart-control features would allow owners to preheat the oven before getting up to go to the kitchen, cook a meal and have it finished just as they walk through the front door or, for those who prefer to keep appliances off while away from home, make sure the unit is never left on when outside the house.

Though the Lightwave is currently only available in South Korea with no word on when it might hit US shores, one of LG’s biggest rivals has already brought similar technology to our washing machines and dryers. Samsung’s 457 series laundry pair couples high efficiency washing technology with a modern touch-screen LCD control panel and remote control through other smart devices. The Smart Control app, available through both Apple’s App Store and Android’s Play Store for their respective phones and tablets, allows owners to select a cycle and switch the machines on or off.

Controlling the washer from afar may not get clothes any cleaner (even if the machine’s Powerfoam and steam cycles do) and you still have to manually move your loads from  washer to dryer, however the app does offer a degree of control never before seen in an appliance. If the owner realizes a piece of laundry was mistakenly left out or put into a cycle that could damage or shrink it the machine can be paused at any time, preventing potential harm from befalling delicates. The capacity to start a load from anywhere at any time can make it easy to take advantage of off-peak energy rates, driving operation costs further down. If you accidentally leave a load in the dryer overnight or while away, the app can also be used to start up a steam cycle which will remove any wrinkles that may have settled in.

Do you think remote-access to your household appliances is a great advance or something less substantial? Tell us below or on the Long Island Lounge.