Time is right for connected appliances, says Miele boss Dr Reinhard Zinkann

According to Dr Reinhard Zinkann, Miele executive director and co-proprietor of Miele, the UK consumer appliances market is ready for connected appliances and the next step will be a common industry open network that can be used across all brands.

He sentiments are mirrored by other technology led or inspired markets and such connectivity, whilst not a new concept is becoming more and more a reality as super-fast broadband and wireless networks expand and converge and thus opening up the possibilities.

Talking to trade magazine kbbreview at the IFA technology show in Berlin Dr Zinkann said;

“The UK consumer is ready for this technology,” he said, “but it depends on two major issues. The first is region, and whether the infrastructure is in place. The second is disposable income, because naturally our products will never be the cheapest in the marketplace. We don’t talk about price, we talk about value. It’s not mass-market.

“Of those who are interested in Miele, I would say 90 per cent of them can afford this technology and will embrace it. So while it is for everybody, not everybody will buy it. However, I believe the time is really ripe for connected appliances and that time will come very fast.

“As such, I am not afraid that the technology won’t catch on. It is moving so fast that in the next 10 years, at least technology-wise, the world will look very different. Just think, 15 years ago there was no Smartphone. Think about what this technology gives you today.

“The next step will be to find an industry-wide solution, so that with one dedicated app, you can control machines from any supplier or manufacturer. Because at this point in time, our system is a closed shop – it only operates with Miele appliances. And while we’d hope that a house has only Miele appliances, not all homes do.

Dr Zinkann concluded: “So I believe the common industry standard will be the next step and when that happens there is no doubt that it will be a huge breakthrough.”

Miele, the consumer respected German appliance giant used the IFA technology show in Berlin to debut its new Miele@ mobile app, which reportedly allows users not just to check the status their devices, but in some cases, to control their appliances remotely from their mobile devices.

Some 400 Miele appliances are now network-enabled under the Miele@home umbrella, with more planned throughout 2015,

Can our Appliances Spy on Us?

In short if you read the DailyMail then yes.

According to the DailyMail, Russian investigators claim to have found household appliances imported from China which contain hidden microchips that pump spam data and malware into wi-fi networks.

Whilst this story is of usually lapse reporting standards as per any DM article (seeing it was only found on a blog) and most of the DM’s other articles source rumour, Twitter posts and Kim Kardashian’s publicist for most of their articles, it is far more likely that Smart TV’s or appliances such as Smart fridges which are tipped to have future access to payment gateways through purchasing digital content or automatic ordering of groceries will be a source of concern, but until that day, that you can turn on your oven as you leave work, or turn the heat down if you are stuck in traffic, does seem to be a step of progress most of us busy people would welcome and if any hacker wants to hack my TV and look at me watching Walking Dead on a Thursday night, then they are welcome too.