Consumers Feathering Their Connected Home Nests

Among the more unexpected effects of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last half-year or so is the sudden home improvement boom it set off among consumers.  Unexpected, but not entirely surprising, as consumers suddenly spending nearly all of their time in their homes these days have realized that home ought to be as nice and as comfortable as humanly imaginable. And since they’re not eating out, travelling far from home or going to events very much these days, many even have the budget to make some upgrades.

New furniture, new appliances, new floors, swimming pools, gardening supplies, tools boxes, paint and patio furniture are just a short list of things that have seen their sales surge as the homebound have begun feathering their nests and making their homes more comfortable, useful and aesthetically pleasing.

And, as new data released by Security research company indicates, that upgrade wave among consumers is increasingly extending to making their homes smarter as well.  The overwhelming majority of consumers report already owning at least one smart home device (91 percent), with a very solid majority planning to purchase more in the not-too-distant future.  The survey found 64 percent of respondents said they were planning to buy a new type of smart home technology within the next year.

Now, there are caveats with the data — the first of which is the survey cast a very wide net for what “counted” as a smart home device to get to that 91 percent, including expected stuff like smart speakers, smart lights, thermostats, etc, but also things like smart TVs, which tend to inflate the figures. But the survey does show that smart appliances are gaining ground among consumers, which at least strongly indicates that smartening up their homes is increasingly becoming part and parcel with the whole home improvement rush among consumers.

A Variety Of Smart Homes 

What exactly constitutes a “smart home” as of late 2020 is in many cases a matter of perspective. On one end of a spectrum, a smart house might refer to a home with a few elements like lights or thermostats connected to a smartphone app that gives their owner the option of remote control. On the other end of that spectrum are the fully wired-up domiciles running a series integrated systems and leveraging an entire collection of connected sensors and household items working in concert — care of a lot of very complex programming and automation routines.

Between those two points there are a variety of connectivity options.

In fact, according to a recent New York Times article on the state of the great smart home expansion nationwide, what distinguishes the current surge in smart home technology adoption among consumers from the home-automation rushes of the past is the degree to which the current smart home can be an entirely DIY venture.  The veritable explosion of  smart refrigerators, washing machines, window shades and air-conditioners are rolling into the market ready to plug-and-play

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New York Homeowners: Stay Connected With Smart Kitchen Appliances

Every New York state homeowner wants to use technology to save money and make their home more energy efficient. But a smart home isn’t limited to using devices to control indoor temperature and turn on music. A smart home also has a smart kitchen.

There are many exciting and new appliances on the market to help get you organized and keep your kitchen running smoothly. Here are five appliances that can help you work smarter in the kitchen:

1. Interactive Refrigerators

Manufacturers such as Samsung have developed a smart refrigerator that’s interactive for the entire family. Not only will you be able to keep food cool at just the right temperature, you can keep track of expiry dates. You can also use the LCD screen on the outside of the fridge as a family calendar and message center and to watch the latest episode of your favorite television show.

Another benefit of a smart fridge is that it’s easy to plan meals. You can check the contents of your fridge no matter where you are using the smartphone app, stocking up on ingredients for a meal before you arrive home.

2. Smart Ovens

A smart oven will make your life much simpler. No more opening the oven door to check if chicken is roasted to the right temperature. The oven does it for you! Smart ovens are also great for baking, making it easy for you to control the temperature and achieve perfect results when making pastry and pies. Even better, you can use the smartphone app to control and regulate oven functions when you’re not at home. This means that you can preheat the oven when you’re on the way home, making it faster for you to get dinner on the table.

Do you always forget to put coffee, paper towels, and other kitchen supplies on your shopping list? Using WiFi connected buttons, you can easily and quickly reorder these much-used items and have them shipped directly to your doorstep. Many manufacturers are even integrating these handy virtual buttons into appliances, ensuring you don’t run out of dish or laundry soap.

4. WiFi Coffee Makers

Mornings are easy when you let your smart appliance brew coffee for you. Indulge in a remote coffee making system, such as the Behmor Brewer, and let the smartphone app control the brewing process. It’s convenient and easy to preset the controls so coffee is ready for you when it’s time to start your day.

With a bigger budget you can take coffee brewing to a whole new level by investing in advanced smart kitchen technology, such as GE’s French door refrigerator with Keurig’s integrated brewing system. Use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to let the fridge know when it’s time to start heating water for your cup of coffee.

5. Convenient Meal Prep

Make meal prep easier with the sous vide smart appliance. The sous vide process is all about vacuum sealing food in a bag and slow cooking in a hot water

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