Perhaps you’re one of the people who has spent a few sleepless nights wondering what the washer and dryer are up to when you’re not around.
If so, the executives over at the Whirlpool Corporation, that global manufacturer that has been trying to turn drudgery into fun for over one hundred years, have got you covered. They’ve come up with something they’re calling “6th Sense Live ™ Technology” which sounds like it would give your appliances the ability to speak with the dead, doesn’t it? But no, it is actually something much, much
worse better. From the Whirlpool website:
With Whirlpool® 6th Sense Live™ technology, you can go anywhere with complete confidence that everything is running smoothly at home. Near or far, it’s never been easier to monitor and manage all your appliances. You’re always connected. And with that peace of mind, you’re free to focus on whatever else you want to do.
And there you have it. Whirlpool has succeeded in making this line of appliances “smart” like those fancy cellphones we all carry now, so you can access them from anywhere, using an application on your fancy cellphone. The appliances range in price from $949 (for a know-it-all dishwasher) to $1999 (for the smarty-pants refrigerator), which both seem like bargains, because how much are you willing to pay for “focus” and “peace of mind”? Plus, they’ll wash out your coffee mug and chill the pinot grigio.
But it turns out, skeptical Americans remain unconvinced, and Whirlpool hasn’t had much success selling these appliances, at least according to this piece in the Washington Post, “Whirlpool’s ‘Internet of Things’ Problem: No One Really Wants a ‘Smart’ Washing Machine.”
From what I read in that article, it seems as though Americans want their washing machines, like their reality television shows, dumb. We don’t want to be “connected” to our appliances the way we want to be connected to, let’s say, Twitter or Words With Friends. We want our appliances to stay over there, in the cramped laundry room or the creepy basement, and not bother us too much. And we certainly don’t want our appliances to get smart, otherwise they might start harping about the crappy way we load the silverware basket.
So Whirlpool is presented with the problem of trying to get a bunch of us to realize we definitely need something that we never even wanted, which was the same dilemma facing every guy I dated while trying to convince me to have anal sex.
Good luck with that, Whirlpool.
The image of the neon appliance can be found at freeimages.com. I took the picture of the My Smart Appliances app on my very smart iPhone.