Whirlpool is one of the first appliance manufacturers in Europe to launch appliances that can ‘talk’ to other apps and connected products.
Whirlpool has extended its leadership in the fast growing Internet of Things, by developing IFTTT compatibility for its connected appliances. IFTTT is an incredibly powerful cloud based web-service that makes it possible for users to connect a wide range of apps, services and products, helping to forge links between the digital services that we all depend on daily and allowing them to work together. Whirlpool has launched three new appliance channels on IFTTT, each offering end users specific capabilities to allow the creation of unique and innovative solutions for home automation.
The new capability enhances Whirlpool’s 6TH SENSE Live® suite of connected household appliances with the ability to communicate with other connected products, for example connected thermostats, letting users create specific automated processes and to easily personalise the experience of the connected home.
Whirlpool has a growing collection of freestanding connected appliances including laundry and refrigeration, and will soon be joined by dishwashing and cooking. Its Wi-Fi enabled 6TH SENSE Live® appliances are connected to Whirlpool’s 6TH SENSE Live® app for tablets and smartphones, which allows for effortless control and monitoring. The app links the home’s connected appliances and creates a single enhanced interface for all appliances.
With the addition of IFTTT compatibility, Whirlpool is taking the connectivity of its connected appliance range, and the 6TH SENSE Live® app, to the next level. Users will be able to simply and flexibly define ways to link their appliances to any of the hundreds of connected devices and services available on IFTTT by creating their own scenarios or ‘Recipes’ as they are described by IFTTT.
Marco Signa, Connectivity Strategy Sr. Manager, Whirlpool EMEA explains the power of these connections: “Imagine setting your Whirlpool fridge to a low energy vacation mode, and having it automatically tell your thermostat to turn down the heating. Or imagine that your home’s solar energy system tells your washing machine to start a cycle when it is collecting enough power on a sunny day. And what about having your stereo play your favourite party playlist to let you know the wine is chilled. When you start to link together different services and products, the combinations are limitless and encompass everything from essential ways to automate daily chores to relatively small things that make the connected home feel more personal, fun and responsive.”
Understanding the power of IFTTT – (IF THIS, THEN, THAT)
IFTTT works by linking the specific functionalities, called triggers, of different connected devices, which are made available on the IFTTT platform. Specific conditions or events that occur on a particular device can trigger an action on another device. The results are simple ‘Recipes’ that users can implement to easily automate their world. For example, a user could set their connected lighting system to turn on the lights in the evening when a person’s ‘phone shows they are near home.
With the launch of a range of new triggers for its 6TH SENSE Live® appliances, Whirlpool is allowing these products to be addressed by other devices available in IFTTT and communicate with them in turn. Whirlpool will also be suggesting a collection of useful recipes to help facilitate automation.
Examples of IFTTT ‘Recipes’ from Whirlpool include:
- Essential notifications
With fridges and freezers, simple issues like leaving the door ajar can cause major issues like food spoiling or energy being wasted. With IFTTT it is easy to know exactly when something is amiss. Example ‘Recipe’: If refrigerator/freezer door is left open THEN send me a text message.
- Making your home anticipate your needs
Whirlpool’s 6TH SENSE® fridges have a dedicated Vacation Mode to run at a lower energy level when you are away while still preserving food. This feature can be simply set via the 6TH SENSE Live® app, but wouldn’t it be useful if this single action could also let the rest of the smart devices in your home know that you’ll be going away? With IFTTT, this communication can become automatic. An example ‘Recipe’: IF vacation mode on refrigerator is on, THEN change settings on the thermostat to reduce energy consumption.
- Sharing tasks
When you are unable to complete a task you start, such as leaving the washing machine running when you leave the house. You can assign a notification to another person to let them know when a cycle is over, so they can promptly remove the clothes to be hung up to dry, or placed in the dryer. An example ‘Recipe’: IF the wash cycle is over, THEN send son/daughter a text message to say ‘unload washer and load dryer’.
Driving the evolution of the whole home system
Cloud-based services such as IFTTT, which are already widely supported across the wider eco-system of apps and connected technologies, are seen as the fundamental pillars of an effective and easy to use whole home system, which will unlock the true value of individual solutions.
According to research firm Berg Insights¹ ‘…the trend will be towards multifunction and whole home systems in the long term’, due to their ability to allow ‘all devices that are part of a whole home system (to) be controlled from one unified user interface, typically a smartphone app. This adds a layer of convenience for the user that can adjust all smart home devices from within one app instead of five or ten different apps.’
The adoption of IFTTT by Whirlpool demonstrates further leadership in creating connected products and solutions that truly offer every day practical value to consumers.
Marco Signa explains: “As more devices become capable of connecting to the rapidly-growing Internet of Things, we believe that consumer interest and adoption will depend on having technologies that genuinely help to make life easier and more pleasurable.
“Key to this, is the ability for connected products and services to easily work together to form a home ecosystem. While the possibilities are very exciting, the burden cannot be on the user to learn to use and connect these technologies. It is the responsibility of leading manufacturers and software companies to break down the barriers and design for seamless and intuitive interoperability and use. This is why Whirlpool has already announced partnerships with other industry leaders including IBM, Amazon and Nest, and why we are taking this initiative still further through IFTTT compatibility.”
- The Whirlpool Supreme Care washing machine, FSCR 12441, and matching tumble dryer, HSCX 10441, can be remotely controlled by the 6TH SENSE Live® app
- Marco Signa, Connectivity Strategy Senior Manager, Whirlpool
Note for editors:
 Smart Homes and Home Automation Fourth Edition, 2016, by Johan Svanberg, Berg Insights.
About IFTTT: IFTTT empowers people to make connections between the many services and devices they use every day. We connect over 300 apps, services, and devices including Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, Gmail, Nest, Fitbit, and Slack; we call these Channels. IFTTT allows users to link these Channels together with simple and powerful ‘if this, then that’ statements called Recipes. Recipes allow users to control their world in ways both large and small, from automating simple tasks to transforming how they experience and manage their health, homes and habits. Every month, IFTTT users run hundreds of millions of Recipes designed to seamlessly simplify and improve their lives. We believe creative control of the services we use most should be intuitive and accessible to everyone. IFTTT has launched two products to help people create, discover, and manage Recipes: IF and DO. Both are available on Google Play and the App Store. Founded in 2010, our growing group of curious and adventurous employees is based in San Francisco.
The Whirlpool brand is part of Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited. Superior performance, intuitive technology, and cutting-edge design are the key pillars of the Whirlpool brand, achieving industry and consumer recognition for its collection of intelligent 6TH Sense® appliance technology.
About Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited:
Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited is managed by Whirlpool EMEA, part of Whirlpool Corporation, the global leader in manufacturing and marketing of home appliances. Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited is the only white goods manufacturer in the UK to operate its own independent service and logistics operations.
Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited fully supports the AMDEA safety initiative, Register My Appliance, and is committed to encouraging householders to register their appliances: http://www.registermyappliance.org.uk/
About Whirlpool Corporation:
Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) is the number one major appliance manufacturer in the world, with approximately $21 billion in annual sales, 93,000 employees and 70 manufacturing and technology research centers in 2016. The company markets Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Consul, Brastemp, Amana, Bauknecht, Jenn-Air, Indesit, Hotpoint and other major brand names in nearly every country throughout the world. In Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) it has approximately 24,000 employees, a sales presence in more than 30 countries and manufacturing sites in eight countries. Whirlpool EMEA is an operating segment of Whirlpool Corporation. Whirlpool Corp.’s European Operations Centers are located in Pero (MI), Italy. Additional information about the company can be found at WhirlpoolCorp.com or find us on Twitter , LinkedIn and Facebook.
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6th June 2017