U.S. Markets close in 2 hrs 55 mins

Whirlpool touts smarts with connected appliances that talk to Google Home, Alexa

Jenny McGrath

During the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Whirlpool announced it was going (almost) all-in on smart appliances by adding Wi-Fi and voice integration with Amazon’s Alexa to 20 models. For CES 2018, the manufacturer is highlighting some of these connected machines, as well as adding Google Home integration to some additional appliances. Fridges with touchscreens will also have Amazon Virtual Dash Buttons built in, so owners can reorder certain products without having to use their phones.

One such machine is the new version of the Whirlpool Smart Over the Range Microwave with Scan-to-Cook Technology. Expected this spring, the microwave will receive cooking instructions from an accompanying app when the user scans a UPC code on a frozen meal. If you’re the type to ignore the Hot Pocket instructions about setting your microwave to 80 percent power, this feature is for you. The microwave will adjust it for you and set the zapping time.

Its touchscreen also adapts to your family over time, learning which presets you use the most. This model will also benefit from Whirlpool’s integration with recipe app Yummly. The app can communicate with the microwave when it’s cooking in True Convection Bake Mode, letting it know exactly what you’re making and how it should handle the recipe.

If microwaving isn’t your thing, you can get a lot of the same benefits out of the Whirlpool Smart Front Control Range, which also works with Yummly, has Scan-to-Cook technology, syncs with Google Home and Alexa, and has an adaptive LCD touchscreen. If you have a recipe that calls for multiple temperature changes, you can either set up the changes with voice control, or the oven will adjust itself if it’s getting the input from Yummly.

Whirlpool also brought back its Smart All-in-One Care Washer and Dryer combo unit, which debuted last year at CES. It hasn’t hit the market yet, but it’s a single machine with one drum that turns from washer to dryer without the user needing to switch the clothes from one machine to another. It has voice-control and an automatic detergent dispenser, and users can download new cycles via its Wi-Fi connection. Pricing and availability aren’t yet available.