If you think the only benefit to a fully-connected smarthome is getting notifications on your phone when someone is breaking into your house, you're missing the bigger picture. Whirlpool is introducing a connected washer and dryer that can talk to your Nest thermostat so it knows when you're home and when you're away to help prevent wrinkled clothing and expensive energy bills.
The feature that consumers will appreciate most on the new Whirlpool Smart Top Load washer is a touchscreen display that simply asks you what you're washing and how you want it be cleaned. Bizarre foreign phrases like 'permanent press' have been replaced with easier to understand descriptions like bedding, baby clothes, even hand-wash fabrics to ensure your clothing is best being cared for and cleaned. And when the washer is connected to a Whirlpool app on your phone, you'll be able to eventually download additional custom wash cycles for harder-to-clean garments.
If your home is already just a bit smarter with a Nest thermostat on active duty, the Smart Top Load washer and dryer can talk to it to help ensure they run as efficiently as possible. For example, if the Nest knows you're away from home and the dryer is still running, it will automatically switch to a longer lower-temperature EcoBoost mode so it uses less energy. And once you get home, the machines can automatically switch to quieter modes so you won't even know they're running.
When they're available sometime in the spring, the washer and dryer can even take advantage of Nest's Rush Hour Rewards program, automatically delaying the start of a cycle until a high-demand energy period has passed which will help save you even more money on your monthly electricity bill. One day you might actually be able to turn a profit every time you do your laundry, but for the time being just saving a few quid sounds pretty great too. [Whirlpool]