An Internet connected refrigerator and oven will take selfies of your food so you can check on them from afar.
Appliances from Bosch, Haier and AEG Electrolux are employing technology to help make grocery shopping and cooking easier.
This connected oven from AEG, the German arm of Electrolux can stream live video of your food so that you can check it from the couch, the office or an errand. It uses a camera on the outside of the oven under the handle to capture the food and users can access it from a smartphone or tablet app. In addition to checking on food, you can change the temperature and turn the oven on and off using the app. If you connect a food probe the oven will automatically turn off once meat reaches the appropriate temperature. The oven isn't cheap though at 3800 Euro or 4200 US dollars. It will go on sale next April and the app will launch in January.
A refrigerator from Bosch can give you a look inside so if you're at the grocery store and not sure if you need milk or orange juice you can check an app to see. The fridge has two cameras inside, one that looks at the main shelves and another that shoots the door. The cameras snap a shot each time the door is closed. The photos are then sent to a Bosch app that you can access from anywhere. You can also use the app to control the temperature. The fridge will cost 1200 Euro when it goes on sale in Europe in December and will come to Asia and the US later.
Haier took a different approach to checking the fridge, by creating a transparent door. By not opening the door and letting out the cold air as often, the unit's efficiency could increase.
All of these developments in appliances are part of the IoT or Internet of Things revolution that is helping to automate the home. IDC predicts the consumer IOT market to grow to 120 billion dollars by 2018 with 23 percent year on year growth, the third fastest growing vertical behind Retail and healthcare. Some of the developments can be seen as genuinely helpful while others seem like they're done just because they can be. Consumers likely won't run out to buy a connected fridge like it’s the next iPhone, but when it's time to replace a broken one, these might gain in popularity at the right price point.