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Apps are vital to connected home success says seller

With the vision of the truly connected home growing ever nearer, and the first smart home devices and appliances coming to market, a leading retailer has suggested apps will be vital to the industry’s success.

With many home appliances and devices currently some of the more mundane technology products, retailer John Lewis has predicted that this will change in the near future as such products become increasingly interconnected and automated.

What’s more, the seller has predicted that the quality of apps accompanying such devices could help make or break the first evolutions of the connected home movement.

“Apps are vital in helping customers make the most out of the connected home as they provide users with more control, remote access and better integration of devices, helping to make homes truly connected,” Nick Underwood, Buying Administrator for Large Electricals at retailer John Lewis told TrustedReviews.

Detailing the need to user-friendly, well designed apps Underwood stated: “We see a future where customers will choose a digital recipe from a smartphone or tablet, which has the ability to check what ingredients you have in your ‘smart fridge’, so that you can then order the remaining ingredients via your online grocer for delivery, or for collection on the way home.”

He added: “Your smart oven or hob will then be able to help you cook your food by telling you exactly how long your dish needs to be in the oven for. In the mid-afternoon you will be able to use your smartphone to switch on the washing machine and dishwasher to make the most of cheaper electricity tariffs and have everything ready for when you get home.”

Committing to a timeline for these eagerly awaited advancements, Underwood, who is currently working with manufacturers such as Nest to bring early connected home appliances to market, predicted the first truly connected homes are just a little over a decade away.

“We expect the first connected homes will emerge within the next ten to fifteen years among early adopters,” he told us, adding: “It may take a lot longer for fully connected homes to become the norm.”

Discussing the range of benefits a connected home and the apps at the heart of its all will have for consumers, Underwood said: “One feature of the connected home which will help it develop in sync with consumer needs is that smart appliances will be able to diagnose their own problems and inform their suppliers which parts need to be delivered or when maintenance needs to be carried out.

“If all the elements of the connected home prove to be this beneficial, we’ll all be wondering how we ever survived without smart appliances.”

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