How about a refrigerator that thinks for itself or a washing machine that tells the dryer what to do?
Manufacturers are building smart appliances that interact with their owners and with each other, connect to smartphones, and call a repairman if something is wrong.
The Samsung RF4289HARS refrigerator goes a few steps farther, say analysts at USA Today. It has a built-in touch-screen that keeps track of the food in it and gives recipes to match the inventory. New refrigerators can run apps and hook up to networks.
Many of LG's new appliances have a Smart Diagnosis feature, which streamlines the process of repairing the appliance. If something happens, owners can find out what's wrong by calling LG and holding the phone up to a tiny speaker that plays a diagnostic code. For a minor problem, owners get instructions on how to fix it on their own. For a larger problem, repair teams will already know what needs to be fixed when they arrive.
GE washing machines with CleanSpeak pass information to their companion dryers. They tell how much moisture is in the clothes and how long the drying cycle should last.
Sales of smart appliances are expected to increase significantly in months and years to come.