My Washer and Dryer Are (Not) Connected

By Tom Leddo, Vice President

As noted by my colleague, Mark Christenson in his recent product review about the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt, whenever it is time to purchase something new for my house, I always look to see if there is a new version of whatever I am buying that is “connected” in some way. I even recently followed Mark’s lead and got a smart deadbolt, but I opted for the Kevo by Kwikset.

I’ll be candid in saying that I chose the Kevo mainly because a great friend of mine works for Kwikset and so I am partial to their products. Thus, they are on every door in my house. I must say, “I LOVE IT” and highly recommend it because my phone is always with me and I can lock and unlock my door with a touch of my finger. I can also allow others through the door remotely for either a designated period of time or on a one-off basis.

But in the rapidly expanding Internet of Things (IoT) and “smart homes,” not all devices make complete sense to connect. As I have said a number of times, “I am not sure why I’ll ever need a connected toaster, but I am sure the same was said about putting a phone in someone’s car in the 1980’s. So I remain open minded.”

With this in mind, I replaced my old washer and dryer late last year. My wife and I primarily based our purchase on the capacity size of the barrel, energy/water efficiency and ease of use. But the fact that this particular set was also “connected” and included an iPhone app helped finalize our decision. We selected a paired, Samsung washer and dryer.

I am extremely happy with our new washer and dryer. If you haven’t upgraded any of your appliances in the last five to ten years you will be surprised by the advances that have been made.

But the “connected” functionality of this particular set is really bad. Through my home Wi-Fi and an accompanying iPhone app, I am supposed to be able to monitor the status of wash/dry cycles and perform remote diagnostics that can expedite needed repairs. But I have never gotten them to connect. The app has as an average rating of 1 out of 5 stars across 17 ratings in the app store with comments such as:

  • “Clearly this app wasn’t given any user testing as it is so clunky to use it’s embarrassing,”
  • “I was really looking forward to using this app but it would never connect to the washer,”
  • “…makes me want to return my washer and dryer out of principle,”
  • “Don’t even bother. I wasted too much time trying to set up this app,”
  • “Can’t get it to work… was excited to use it, now just disappointed,” and
  • “Useless app.”

These comments are not about the washer and dryer itself, but rather the accompanying app that enables it to be “connected” and very accurately reflect my personal opinions.

For me, here is the bottom line – The new appliance set works great except for the wireless functions so I am not able to sit in front of the TV or in my backyard on a Sunday afternoon and know exactly when the drying cycle ends to remove my shirts with less wrinkles. I still have to do it the old fashioned way of estimating or remembering how long it has been since I started a fresh load. But this is just a small hurdle in the world of more connected devices and I am still not giving up on moving into the connected world – I remain open minded!

April 21, 2016
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