Better. Smarter. Possibly more annoying.
Did I leave the stove on? ... What do I need from the grocery store? Is the washer done yet? ... It rained — I'd better stop the sprinklers from watering. ... Man, I really wish we hadn't left the lights on all day. ... It'd be great if we remembered to turn off the air conditioning when we're gone.
Look, I'll be the first person to tell you that not everything needs to be wired up to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant (or Cortana or Siri or whatever). I don't need the security camera in my living room to have Assistant support along with the Google Home Max. Same goes for alarm clocks alongside Google Home Minis.
But when it comes to major appliances — and specifically things that absolutely will cost me money the more their used — sometimes smarter is better than not.
Let's take the air conditioner, for example, now that summer is threatening to show up early here in Florida. First, having a smart thermostat like Nest or Ecobee means you're going to have smarter scheduling. And even more important is that they'll be sure to shut things off when you're not home. That's great. But even better is that with functionality with Alexa and Google Assistant you'll be more likely to adjust things to your liking instead of just dealing with it — because changing the temperature with your voice or even with a remote control means less work. (I know, getting up is hard to do. But it's one of those things that you'll never now you were missing until you try it.)
Refrigerators? Here's what LG's InstaView ThinQ Refrigerator — pictured above — can do:
The intelligent refrigerator recommends delicious recipes based on what ingredients the consumer has on hand – a revolutionary answer to the timeless question of what to eat for dinner. Once a recipe is selected, the refrigerator automatically sends the information to preheat the connected oven, and the integrated Amazon Alexa verbally guides the chef through each step of the process for a trouble-free cooking experience. Users can also access and listen to their favorite songs on Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, and other music streaming services directly on the InstaView ThinQ for a more enjoyable cooking and dining experience.
How about them apples?
Or take a sprinkler system, for another example. While the Rachio system is smart enough to not water if it's rained (even without a moisture sensor), occasionally it'll still start to hose things down when you don't want it to. If that happens, just a simple voice command takes care of things and turns off the sprinkler.
Lights are even more awesome. You can set up routines and shut down the entire house at one time, using only your voice, once you're in the car or on the way out the door. Or you can set a specific bedtime routine to only dim what you need to, and darken everything else.
Stoves? Sure thing. Having a timer rigged up to Alexa or Assistant means you're more likely to actually be notified when the thing goes off, instead making sure you're in a place where you can hear it. Or even better is being able to make sure that you've actually turned it off when you're done cooking. (I can't be the only one who's had to turn around and go home because of this, right?)
Security systems can be fun, too. I can tell my Ring Doorbell to show the video feed on my TV, and it'll do so.
The point is, don't shun Alexa and Assistant in major appliances. They can make life a little easier, and potentially save you some money, too.