By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LAS VEGAS – While the appliance presence at International CES was dominated by the Central Hall’s Big Three CE/majap makers – Haier, LG and Samsung (see TWICE, Jan. 21) – the nation’s largest whitegoods manufacturer, Whirlpool, and niche luxury brand Dacor, drew throngs to their displays at the ancillary Venetian hotel.
Whirlpool, a regular presence at CES, continued its connectivity theme with an Internetenabled system dubbed 6th Sense Live. Hitting retail floors in March, the smart side-byside refrigerator and laundry pair can be operated remotely and provide status updates and alerts via an iOS app (Android to follow). And in lieu of a smartgrid- compatible utility company, the models can change or delay their operation and cycles to lower-cost energy periods based on historic power usage data, explained Warwick Stirling, Whirlpool’s energy and sustainability global director.
Whirlpool also demonstrated several futuristic appliance and home environment concepts, including “The Fireplace,” which consists of a multifunctional cooking table with an intelligent surface and an air-treatment and mood-lighting hood. The table features a cooking reservoir that emits different wavelengths of light to either create a warm atmosphere or cook food at the perfect temperature without burning it.
Meanwhile, Dacor, the ultra-premium California-based kitchen appliance maker, made its CES debut at CES Unveiled and Showstoppers with an Android-controlled wall oven. Its 4.8-cubic-foot, 30- inch Discovery convection wall oven comes equipped with a builtin Discovery IQ controller, powered by a Samsung 1GHz processor and 512MB of DDR2 RAM. An interactive cooking app and guide, available for download through the Google Play store, will allow users to automatically, and remotely, program the oven for appropriate temperatures and cook times based on food and recipe, and will provide text message or push notification when the dish is ready to serve.
In the event of an oven malfunction, IQ will notify the owner with an error message and an automated report will be sent to Dacor for troubleshooting. What’s more, automatic system updates and self-diagnostics are downloaded directly to the IQ Controller via Wi- Fi from the Dacor server to ensure optimal IQ and oven performance levels, the company said.
The unit is slated to ship this summer with a suggested retail of $4,499 for the single wall oven and $7,499 for the double-cavity model. Distribution will include specialty majap dealers, Lowe’s, and Best Buy’s Pacific Sales subsidiary.
Back at Central Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Toshiba, best known in this country for its TVs, Blu-ray players and laptops, made room for its line of kitchen and laundry majaps, available only in Japan. Staffers said the display was essentially a flexing of its corporate muscle, and did not signal any intentions for the U.S. market.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.