If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY's newsroom and any business incentives. People who love to cook are particular about their tools. They want the pan that feels right in their hand when they're flipping an omelet, the tea kettle that heats water to the perfect temperature for green tea, or the spiralizer that works so well they don't mind giving it valuable real estate in their kitchen gadget drawer. It's all well and good until you're trying to buy a gift that the picky home cook in your life will actually love.
Wandering among the engineers, strategy directors and managers of something called "connected customer experience" at the Smart Kitchen Summit, one had to wonder: do any of these people actually cook? The conference, now in its third year, brings together people on the front lines of technology to figure out how to move the digital revolution deeper into the kitchen. The kitchen is where Americans spend 60 per cent of their time at home when they are not sleeping, says Yoon Lee, a senior vice president at Samsung. That's why so many tech companies are focused on it. Almost everyone here at Benaroya Hall, the home of the Seattle Symphony – whether an executive from a major appliance manufacturer, a Google engineer or a hopeful young entrepreneur with a popular Kickstarter concept – agrees that it is only a matter of five to 10 years before artificial intelligence has a permanent seat at the dinner table.
Robotic vacuum cleaners, washer dryers and dishwashers are popular among two-income households, as they afford families more free time by relieving them of daily chores, according to electronics makers and retailers. In a similar trend, "more people are wondering whether they should buy washer-dryers even though they are a bit more expensive" than conventional washing machines, a Bic Camera sales official said. Domestic demand for built-in dishwashers is expected to grow to 580,000 units in fiscal 2017 from 550,000 units in fiscal 2015, according to market leader Panasonic. Such electronics "can help reduce friction between couples" over how to share household chores, a Neo Marketing official said.
This is a Prime Day deal good for today only, and reserved for Amazon Prime members (or those with a free trial: sign up here). The Roomba 652 Vacuuming Robot provides a thorough clean at the push of a button. Preset Roomba to clean when it's convenient for you, so you can keep up with everyday mess. This story, "33% off iRobot Roomba 652 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner - Prime Day Deal Alert" was originally published by TechConnect.
The Roomba 650 Vacuuming Robot provides a thorough clean at the push of a button. The patented, 3-Stage Cleaning System easily picks up dust, pet hair and large debris like cereal and works on all floor types, adjusting itself and re-charging itself as needed to make sure the job is done correctly every time you need it -- preset Roomba to clean when it's convenient for you. See this deal on Amazon. This story, "23% off iRobot Roomba 650 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner - Deal Alert" was originally published by TechConnect.
Now, in its efforts to topple Amazon, Google is unrolling some new functionality: Starting this month, Google Home will be compatible with a host of appliances from Whirlpool, LG, GE, and iRobot (including some of our favorites). Less than a year after GE baked Alexa into its appliances using the Geneva Home skill, Google and GE announced that most new GE washers, dryers, ovens, and dishwashers will now also respond to Google Home. Starting today, the entire suite of GE connected devices will feature Google Home compatibility, including our top-rated wall oven, the GE Café CT9050SHSS. Over 20 Whirlpool appliances will get Google Home functionality, including those from Whirlpool brands Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, and Maytag.
GE Appliances announced a deal with Google Wednesday enabling the US tech giant's voice control home hub to be used for cooking, cleaning and other functions. The deal enables GE's "Geneva" to communicate with the Google Assistant, so users can say: "Ok Google, ask Geneva Home to set the oven timer for 10 minutes." Consumers will be able to use voice commands to preheat their own meals, or check if laundry or dishes are cleaned with connected GE appliances, the companies said. Google and its parent company Alphabet have been seeking to diversify beyond internet search to new kinds of services, many focused on artificial intelligence which powers its Google Home hub and other devices.
Unlike the 650 and 860 -- its previous low-end robots -- they can be controlled through the iRobot Home app. As promised, iRobot is also adding Alexa support for its Wi-Fi connected cleaners. The "skill" is enabled by barking "Alexa, open Roomba," or by selecting the Roomba skill inside the Alexa app. It's a small, but neat trick that Neato, one of iRobot's biggest competitors, introduced for its own cleaners late last year.
Roomba 960 seamlessly navigates room to room to clean an entire level of your home, recharging itself after working for up to 75 minutes, and then resuming until the job is done. Just press clean or schedule Roomba on the go with the iRobot Home App, from which you can also monitor its cleaning status. Roomba works on all floor types, and at just 3.6 inches tall, is specifically designed to fit under most furniture, beds and kickboards. The very full featured Roomba 960 averages 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon and is currently discounted $100 off its typical list price, making it available right now for $599.
A robot that is equipped with Instinct Software offers behavior that makes sense, in which we can interpret the robot's intentions in the same way as we can analyze human behavior. Not only that, but the behavior evolves and remains appropriate over time - behavior is not random since the robot remembers what it's done and learns from experience. Robots running Instinct Software can react reasonably and coherently, but not so predictably as to be sterile and uninteresting.