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Mailbag: What good is the connected home?

Jan 06, 20032 mins

Readers unimpressed by the time-saving kitchen

A few weeks back I considered the results of a study from the Internet Home Alliance that tried to gauge consumers’ interest in a variety of “connected” or “smart” home applications (see “What consumers really want” ). Since, I’ve asked readers to share their reactions and their wish lists of connected home applications.

By far, the application model that caught the most fire was “mealtime,” an application consisting of a “single, coordinated interface” that controls kitchen appliances to help prepare a meal from start to finish, saving the preparer considerable time and effort.

  • Gil Gordon: “I need an ‘integrated kitchen’ about as much as I need an ‘integrated linen closet.’ Talk about solutions in search of problems!”

  • David Green: “I already have plenty of time-saving options ranging from avoiding the kitchen altogether (drive-through), to popping a freezer meal into the microwave. Anything quicker than that and you risk going back in time. Remember the old Steven Wright joke: ‘This morning I put instant coffee in the microwave and went back in time.’? “

  • Ralph Mackiewicz: “With the exception of the refrigerator, I don’t trust my appliances to run automatically without supervision. Ever had your laundry sink get plugged up? Plus, I like to cook.”

  • Alain Minodier: “I will not eat a meal prepared using a Microsoft operating system because the system will blow up during the cooking or will oblige me to sign on with passport before I can eat, or will never tell me what it is happening. And cooking for your loved ones isn’t a pain, but a pleasure.”

  • John H. Marble: “Can they solve my problem? I’ve been looking for an electric stirring device I thought we had because I wanted to mix some honey, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries and mustard into an off-beat dip. Turns out, my wife stored it in the back of a low cupboard that’s out of sight to me because I’m taller and don’t think to bend down to look, whereas she’s quite willing to squat and reach with speedy ease. But then again, my quandary seems more closely associated with knee-bone-connected-to-the-thigh-bone than the connected-home.

Next week, readers share their connected home wish lists.