Smart homes have been the dream of the future for years. Now with more and more connected devices, the possibility is closer than ever. One specific piece of the smart home puzzle involves the “internet of things” (IoT) which are used to connect the different non-computer based appliances. Another piece of the puzzle involves the problem of centralized computation and interaction with this network of devices. Microsoft offers a complete set of tools to enable companies to deliver IoT and cloud services in their appliances and devices.
One particular example involves Miele, which is a high-end German appliance manufacturing company. Microsoft and Miele have formed a partnership focused on smarter appliances. Microsoft technology will provide the appliance-level IoT software and Azure will host the centralized computation of the data being supplied by all the connected appliances. Think of an oven that is programmed to cook a specific meal using the proper operating mode, temperature, cooking time, humidity and other factors, taking out guesswork and promising great results.
Consumers will be able to use this data to get more out of their appliances, but will this benefit out weigh the added costs? Connected appliances are still in their infancy and haven’t broken into the mainstream of consumer buying habits or expectations. Time will tell how IoT will make its way into consumers’ everyday lives — maybe via appliances but maybe in other undiscovered ways.