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Japanese Firms Create Home (Appliance) Network

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the ping-toaster dept.

The Internet 175

JOstrow writes "The Japanese companies Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Sharp, and Sanyo are teaming up to create a standard for home appliances communicating over a network. Usage examples cited are ovens that download recipes and heating systems that can be adjusted remotely with a cell phone. The first products adhering to the standard, called iReady, are expected to be available by next year. The iReady adapter will be ready for use '...not only with commercialized Bluetooth and low powered wireless appliances but also wireless LAN and future transmission media.'"

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175 comments

Recipe Networks? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816384)

Wow, soon I can cook meals controlled by my bluetooth enabled phone! Wow! How useful. The aspect of downloading recipes seems kind of interesting, however. Just make sure when you are downloading a recipe you don't get tricked into hitting the recipe link that is the equivilant of a goatse redirect *shudder*.

Seriously though, perhaps we could use peer-to-peer networks to share recipes, with a rating system kind of like what Shareaza uses. I have a cookie recipe [snopes.com] that I can share... It would be kind of interesting to join a network of like-minded recipe people and have recipes downloaded each day.

ahah (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816385)

this is news?hjhkhjkhjkgjkghkghjghjhjersubj" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition in the subject line. Comment aborted.

WHO AM I? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816411)

I'm a closet homosexual.
I am a frequent visitor to the popular family-oriented website [goatse.cx] goatse.org.
Although I know absolutely SHIT about technology, I managed to suck enough cocks to become editor of some website.
Who am I?

Re:WHO AM I? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816417)

cmdrtaco

ILL GIVE YUO A HINT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816426)

his name starts with the letter "M", and I don't mean "malda".
wow this site sux0rs I'm gonna play w/ myself lolf kthx

Re:ILL GIVE YUO A HINT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816434)

michael fudgepacker sims?

rblrlblrblrbl (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816447)

fappin it to furry pron adsfsdafdsafasdfdsaffsd

Friendly reminder from HSS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816585)

Esteemed citizens,

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that although no terrorist attacks took place in Christmas, our great nation is still under a terrorist threat.

So keep your eyes open and report your neighbours [citizencorps.gov] for any suspicious activity.

Be pure, be vigilant, behave!

PS. And if you want our children to be safe in the future as well, remember to vote for our commander-in-chief in 2004! Now you do want our children to be safe, don't you?

Tom Ridge
Director of Homeland SS [dhs.gov]

PDA remote controls? (2, Offtopic)

adoll (184191) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816387)

So will this allow my Palm to replace my TV Remote control?

-AD

Re:PDA remote controls? (1)

DarthWufei (686942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816400)

Actually I'm pretty this is already possible, and I found something on google that already has a set up for it. Heard about it on TechTV today. http://www.pacificneotek.com/ It's interesting, but I have no clue about how well it works.

Re:PDA remote controls? (1)

adoll (184191) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816408)

That will work with the IR, but Bluetooth is still outside the realm of TV tech (to my knowledge). But I guess I could build an IR xmitter with a bluetooth connection so I can bluetooth the xmitter that IRs the TV.

Hmm. Where is Rube Goldberg when you need him?

-AD

Re:PDA remote controls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816413)

this is probably only effective with an IR amplifier. works like: input IR, output higher powered IR with a bigger LED / more milliwatts

Re:PDA remote controls? (1)

Adam9 (93947) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816415)

I didn't read the link but I was using a program called Remote something around 3 or 4 years ago that you could use to train the PDA to send certain IR signals. It came with a nice UI for a tv/vcr/dvd/amplifier/etc. remote. Worked quite nicely. Free, too.

Re:PDA remote controls? (1)

filtersweep (415712) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816630)

It is. My Sony PDA does that right out of the box.

Axioms of Christmas Linux Economics (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816388)

1) Linux is free if your time is worthless
2) My time is not worthless
3) Linux is not free
4) Giving Linux as a Christmas present is not "cheap"
5) Linux is a good Christmas present.

cant wait (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816392)

I can't wait until my oven prints out emails.

Re:cant wait (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816395)

in soviet russia, oven refrigerates jews

Re:cant wait (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816419)

in soviet russia, trolls mod parent up

YOU FAIL IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816727)

Correct Format:

In Soviet Russia, corpses of Jews burn oven!

Ya' but (1)

blurfus (606535) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816396)

will I be able to view my p0rn collection with it?

iReady? (3, Funny)

R33MSpec (631206) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816399)

So, when you walk into a department story are you meant to ask if the appliance is 'iReady ready?"

Re:iReady? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816420)

ummm no, you say 'do you have any iReadies'? who the hell walks into a store and says 'is dvd player ready?'... bro, your pathetic attempt at humor failed MISERABLY!

Re:iReady? (1)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816433)

In the right places, and for a few years, yeah. I've never seen a standard like this stay around for more than a year or two. In 5 years there'll be a few japanese homes with appliances that have unusable features, having cost twice as much as normal ones, but now working no different.

My prediction: this will be as useful as televisions with built in Beta tapes, CD players with built in organisers, and computers with a built in weather display on the front.

I give it 18 months

Re:iReady? (1)

epiphani (254981) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816488)

yup.

I really hope they dont fuck this up. Anything developed for this purpose *must* be based on ipv6. If I'm gonna work with any of these products after ipv6 accually kicks in, I'm gonna want it globally routable.

Re:iReady? (1)

SkArcher (676201) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816685)

I have to question if having your cooker globally routable is necessary or even desirable.

Still, it would be peotically satisfying to be able to route all spam mail to a honeypot in your fridge i suppose.

Laugh. It's Funny.

Re:iReady? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816545)

No, you say "iready desu ka?"

Good Thing (4, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816402)

I have difficulty imagining the usefulness of this, but I'm really glad they're working together to develop a common standard instead of each company doing their own thing. I suspect someone will find something really cool to do with this technology that nobody's thought of yet, now that the framework exists.

Re:Good Thing (1)

serutan (259622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816494)

I have difficulty imaging anything useful or cool about this. And apparently so does the otherwise gadget-happy Japanese public: "Net-linking home appliances without iReady are already available in Japan, though they have yet to catch on." Well, DUH, because the whole concept is pretty useless. I can't wait to stand in front of my refrigerator and surf the web.

Re:Good Thing (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816534)

How about a firdge that detects that you're getting low on milk, or beer, or whatever, and automatically adds it to your shopping list for you, or perhaps even places an order for more?

Networked computers aren't just about surfing the web, you know.

Re:Good Thing (1)

Micro$will (592938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816563)

How about I look in the fridge one in a while and check whether I'm low on milk/butter/beer whatever, instead of Hal 9000 figuring it out for me?

What they need is a standard to unfuck the back of my entertainment system. I mean, really, why does there have to be over a dozen wires going to/from my home theater? It *should* be 6 speaker wires, and a couple USB/firewire connections. Is it that hard to produce?

Re:Good Thing (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816699)

I have difficulty imagining the usefulness of this

The example of controlling the heating from a cellphone seems geniuinely useful (but not via bluetooth, as you want the house warm before you get within bluetooth or even WiFi range), but all the crap about fridges and ovens that is the usual poster child for these systems is nothing more than gimmicky really.

E, I, O, U... Technology progression. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816403)

Oh, I understand the i-thing now. It shows the generation of neat, but possibly mostly useless or very successfull new personal technology.

e-mail, emac, ecommernce, etc etc... for 1990's technology.

imac, iRiver, iTones, iReady etc for 2000's technology.

So next we have

oMac, oMan, oRobit, oBeowolf/playstation3/cluster etc etc... for 2010,

then

uMac, uBrain, uBenevolentRobotMasters, uMars,
for 2020's technology.

The only question I have is what about "y" and sometimes even "w"?????

Re:E, I, O, U... Technology progression. (1)

mattjb0010 (724744) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816496)

There was a geek who had some toys, E I E I O

Re:E, I, O, U... Technology progression. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816539)

yBother :-)

Re:E, I, O, U... Technology progression. (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816554)

and sometimes, they'll throw in a "y" as in "yMac"

Re:E, I, O, U... Technology progression. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816590)

yMac, yNot?

Gotta love marketing (1)

quintessent (197518) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816669)

Don't forget these bold, savvy offshoots: mLife and tMobile (or however they spell them).

And I think it was the Wall Street Journal carried an article about X going into things to give them an edgy, exciting aura-- X-Files, X-Box, Windows XP, and many others.

Re:Gotta love marketing (1)

SkArcher (676201) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816689)

So X means overmarketed and annoying?

You have a point I suppose...

The farmer's version (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816691)

What about the following progression of 2 iterations of e, i, followed by o.

e-mail -> iTones -> eNet -> iStation -> oRover

iWife (4, Funny)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816405)

"The first products adhering to the standard, called iReady, are expected to be available by next year."

Anybody know when they'll be releasing the iWife module?

Re:iWife (1)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816428)

They already released it, but it was recalled because it was found to be trojaned with the iNlaw exploit.

Re:iWife (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816655)

Dunno about that, but iRobot [slashdot.org] will be out next July.

Funny thing is (1)

quintessent (197518) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816660)

What was it, 4 years ago, Slashdot had an article just like this about a company making a home appliance network? IIRC, someone made this same joke.

It's still funny, though.

I think I first read about appliance networks being under development maybe 15 years ago. The example mentioned was that your stereo could turn itself down when the phone rang. Something like 7 years ago, Novell hired a CEO out of Sun who decided home appliance networks represented the future of the company. The networking medium was to be the electrical wiring in the home. (Yeah, for a while, they thought WordPerfect was their future too.)

New year's resolution: Just laugh, and don't comment.

I guess the simple book had no impact in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816421)

...may I propose SACP (the Simple Appliance Communications Protocol) + a generic per appliance MIB.

just what I've been waiting for (2)

wibs (696528) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816425)

As I understand it this essentially X10, except actually feasible.

Re:just what I've been waiting for (0)

AmericanKleptocracy (735731) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816517)

And except also nothing like that at all.

A/V network (3, Insightful)

myov (177946) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816437)

I think some form of A/V network would be more useful than linking appliances. Why can't I just link my TV, VCR, Digital Tuner, DVD, Receiver, etc with a single cable and let them figure themselves out?

Play on DVD tunes the TV to the right input, sets the receiver surround mode, knows to control the receiver's volume instead of TV's, etc. Watching TV, press record and the VCR knows what to do. Let me walk over to the kitchen and continue watching my DVD there. Etc.

A universal remote doesn't really make things that much simpler (constant mode switching, two different volume modes depending on where audio is routed, needing to know what plugs into what, etc). The alternative is an extremely complex/expensive crestron-type system.

Of course, under the DMCA/etc, you'll probably see this as a "what we're allowing you to do" connection instead. :(

Re:A/V network (1)

serutan (259622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816500)

Now that's more like it. A/V devices have a REASON to be networked. Unless maybe... you could get the VCR could make toast. Oh wait, Vyvyan already did that [ironworks.com] .

Re:A/V network (1)

gum2me (723529) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816611)

Isnt InfiniBand coming out soon that will allow TVs, DVDs and the likes to connect to each other without wires?

gum2me?

Re:A/V network (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816709)

A universal remote doesn't really make things that much simpler

I remember in the early 90's seeing a programmable remote, which could send multiple signals on a single button press. A single button to switch the receiver to DVD, turn on surround, turn the volume up, skip the copyright disclaimer and start the movie playing. Most TVs in Europe already switch channels so that signal is optional.

Essentially, this is something that MS failed at.. (1)

Clinoti (696723) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816443)

but yet hails the future of technology in the homeplace. Smart networked appliances working together in unison with a 'master-of-the-household' system are what dreamers, and architect-dreamers have been thinking of something to do with for years now, but only to be foiled by incompatabilty and privacy issues. The only point of reference we have now in current age technology are the giant private corporation printers, and servers, that call back to a datacenter to report need of repair, need of future maintenance, or need of parts. But for the homestream....nothing. It's about time that companies started to herald this (old) breaking technology.

Re:Essentially, this is something that MS failed a (1)

dnahelix (598670) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816475)

I think a crucial aspect here is the tendency of Japanese competitors to work together on advancing new technologies. Japanese companies also have a history of actually HELPING each other in diffucult times, especially companies with a similar business. Obviously, this is in direct contrast to Microsoft, which has the kill-all-competition mentality.

Japanese proverb (1)

Micro$will (592938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816596)

"Business is War."

Any mention of Japanese and fair in the same sentence is a invitation for laughter. Japanese companies have a recent history of helping each other due partly because of recent anti monopoly regulations from decades of monopoly abuses, and now competition from other asian markets. Microsoft may have helped develop "embrace and extend", but the Japanese developed "dump and pump". Flood the market with inexpensive products, and when the competition keels over, pump up the prices. Now they're in the same boat as we were in the 70s, and they're doing everything they can to survive.

If you want to buy connected appliaces today. . . (5, Interesting)

jhobbs (659809) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816446)

Westinghouse has a new line of connected apliances [beyondconnectedhome.com] available. They do such interesting things as, your alarm clock tells you if the coffee maker is not filled with water and coffee, when you go to bed. Or you can use the barcode wand on the microwave to scan your tv dinner, and the microwave will look up how to cook it on the internet. They are already available to purchase at Amazon. The appliances are about average for luxury appliances, but the "home hub" (an alarm clock + windows CE pda, the one require piece) is a bit pricy at $500 if you ask me.

Re:If you want to buy connected appliaces today. . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816712)

your alarm clock tells you if the coffee maker is not filled with water and coffee, when you go to bed

Why would I want to leave my coffee to go stale overnight?

Oh, Brave New Crap. (4, Insightful)

servasius_jr (258414) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816457)

The future, as supplied by mega-corporations: More and more of what you need less and less.

Do you really want your toaster to be twice as expensive, half as reliable, licenced instead of owned, and subject to planned obsolescence?

great... (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816459)

until a virus burns your house down, or turns the gas on the stove on and it doesn't light, then no one notices...

Although it'd be worth if if the fridge has an auto-update :)

Re:great... (1)

Valar (167606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816531)

until a virus burns your house down, or turns the gas on the stove on and it doesn't light, then no one notices...
Or when a virus causes your phone to randomly dial people long distance. Or when a hacker takes control of the little computer in your car and makes you drive off a bridge...

Or maybe this isn't as big a problem as everyone makes it seem...

ABC (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816461)

Another Bad Creation. Need I say more.

As Always, Questionable Utility (5, Interesting)

Babbster (107076) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816472)

To me, downloading recipes to a stove is just silly (assuming the presence of an Internet-connected PC) unless it has robot arms that prepare the meal to the recipe's suggestions. Automating and remote-controlling home-heating and air-conditioning systems has been going on for YEARS. Here's but one example [smarthome.com] using the X10 system (I refuse to link directly to X10 because of their evil internet advertising practices).

Another use I've heard/read about is a "smart" refrigerator that can tell you, for example, when you need milk. Of course, most homes have solved this complicated problem with the extremely advanced pen/paper system (some VERY rich people substitute a dry erase system, but I've only read about homes so equipped in magazines) combined with opening the refrigerator door.

I really wish manufacturers would come up with something truly useful and unique to do with these appliance-connectivity solutions. I love spending money on mostly unnecessary gadgets, but I need a LITTLE justification.

Re:As Always, Questionable Utility (1)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816499)

What I want to see is an apartment complex with a centralized food storage/delivery system. Instead of going to the supermarket, the supermarket sends a delivery truck to stock up the apartment's central store. When your fridge runs low on milk, it orders some from the central store, and it gets delivered via a pneumatic system (either that, or some delivery guy just does rounds inside the building.) No need to stock sodas (taking up valuable fridge room) - if you suddenly have a bunch of extra guests, just dial up a few six packs. Want a DVD for the evening? Just punch up your terminal (internet, telephone, cable, or otherwise) and see what's in stock locally.

It boggles the mind that companies like Kozmo tried to do the pizza delivery thing (yes, we'll deliver a 90 cent pack of Junior Mints to your door... for free!), when they could have tried to partner with developers and supermarkets to implement this kind of system.

Oh, and in case some punk tries to patent this (assuming it hasn't been patented already), I declare this idea to be published and in the public domain!

Actually, it probably already has been patented, for use with hotel chains - they already have a hotel central store/kitchen, a delivery system (room service) and interactive controls (interactive cable, web console, or the good old menu and telephone.)

Re:As Always, Questionable Utility (1)

jellybear (96058) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816533)

would you pay for the real estate costs? The store could probably be rented out otherwise as apartments

Re:As Always, Questionable Utility (1)

Matthias Wiesmann (221411) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816615)

To me, downloading recipes to a stove is just silly (assuming the presence of an Internet-connected PC) unless it has robot arms that prepare the meal to the recipe's suggestions
I think it depends of the oven. If the only control of the oven is temperature, then it is, indeed, silly. Now if you have an oven that can control temperature, humidity, the strength of the blowing and is able to control the speed at which those variables changes, this are different. Being able to load "programs" that describe the changes of those variables over time instead of programming the oven makes a lot of sense.

Obviously this makes no sense for heating deep-frozen pizzas, but for more complex cooking like delicate pasteries, fine control is needed. Professional ovens have this kind of controls (including the ability to control how fast temperature and humidity changes) and I suspect they could have even more but for the complexity of the interface.

Remember that their target market is the japanese housewife, not the average slashdot reader, their cooking styles are, I suspect, a little bit different...

Re:As Always, Questionable Utility (1)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816644)

As is mentioned in any article related to X10 home automation, the X10 in this case is *not* the same as those annoying camera advertisements we used to see all over the place. It's unfortunate that some shady advertisements gave a legitimate technology a bad name in that kind a of way.

Re:As Always, Questionable Utility (1)

shione (666388) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816662)

Mate, linking them on slashdot is what you do to sites you don't like.

Those Crazy Japanese... (4, Funny)

wedg (145806) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816477)

"Honey, the toaster's been hacked again." *sound of sirens in the background, getting louder* ... Can anyone else think of some appliances that could potentially be broken into and cause damage to someone's home? Hell, no system is perfectly secure. There's always a way in, and always someone willing to find it. So what if some happy-go-lucky hacker finds his way on to the net.appliances with a modified >appliance-of-choice and a laptop? Suddenly your oven's on while you're away being a Salaryman and the little ninjas leave their homework on deadly types of blowfish on the oven, and poof, someone's house goes up. Or an apartment complex.

But maybe I'm just pessimistic.

Re:Those Crazy Japanese... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816489)

Just run Linux on it, security problems solved.

Re:Those Crazy Japanese... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816504)

I envy your sheltered little world.

iReady (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816483)

What's with putting 'i' in front of everything? can't four japanese mega-corporations working together come up with something original?

iBullshit.

Re:iReady (1)

Ashtead (654610) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816516)

Looks to me like they have taken a page out of Intel's book. A number of Intel's trademarks begin with the lowercase "i", e.g. iPDX, iRMX, iCEL, iAPX and so on. I don't think Intel has a monopoly on acronyms or words starting with "i[A-Z]", but they've certainly got a lot of them.

They are also quite well-known.

So it might be a fashion thing, that "i-" this or that sounds like it would be with the times. As long as they don't bang into Intel's trademarks they would be OK.

It does however look a little bit too 1985 to me...

Imagine the possibilities... (4, Funny)

rohan_leader (731431) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816506)

BEFORE:

RIAA or similar: You are hereby charged for downloading copyrighted content from this internet account.

YOU: No no! The Virus did it!

AFTER:

RIAA or similar: You are hereby charged for downloading copyrighted content from this internet account.

YOU: No no! The Oven did it!

RIAA: Did you realize that the recipe for those cinnamon rolls was copyrighted?

YOU: WTF! You can copyright a cinnamon roll recipe?

etc etc etc.. ad infinitum.

(and other possible encounters... too)

Re:Imagine ... (you insensitive clod) (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816677)

I did.

And my mind got bent out of shape trying to understand why the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) cares about recipes.

Yet another standard among many? (2, Insightful)

akc (207721) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816511)

There already is a whole raft of standards for home interconnection, and then home to outside world.

How does this new standard add to that?

Look at OSGi [osgi.org] , uPnP [upnp.org] and LonWorks [lonmark.org] just to show a few of them

Re:Yet another standard among many? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816666)

Don't forget Java/JINI/JAXTA

hmmm where is the market? (1)

dave1g (680091) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816513)

yes, eventually this will be cool, but a stove with a recipe is worthless if it cant fix the meal for you...

But hey, let 'em at it, maybe something cool will come out of this.

Atleast it is a standard!

WLAN (2, Funny)

rf0 (159958) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816514)

Great instead of war driving there will be war cooking

Rus

This will add to already complex appliances (2, Insightful)

Qweezle (681365) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816519)

Most new "modern" appliances with features that are anything near digital are already too difficult for the run-of-the-mill house caretaker, whether that be a woman or a man.

People want something simple that WORKS....I doubt there will be a widespread acceptance of this until the technology generation, the kids of the 90s, grow old enough to have to use household appliances(and take care of a house/apartment), which won't be for another 10 to 15 years.

Until then, therefore, I predict these things won't catch on too well. But you can never really predict consumer acceptance of a radical new idea, so I guess we'll have to wait and see.

The Jetsons kitchen (1)

IowaBoy (14068) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816526)

As far as networking kitchen appliances goes, this has the potential of being exceedingly silly, the bullshit net-ization of something just for the hell of it.

The idea of remote-controlled ovens makes me nervous. These just aren't the kind of things you leave unattended. Automatic drip coffee makers, which have been around for a couple of decades, are acceptable because you're at home, and the device is really just heating and pumping water on a timer; little chance of burning a pyrex pot of Yuban. It's cool to think of leaving a frozen dinner in the oven in the morning and having the oven start cooking it at 6:00 pm for when you get home. But if I forget about it and go to Taco Bell, or if I'm late, the thing better call or e-mail me, and it better be able to reliably turn itself off. In the end, though, no labor is saved, and I have to plan the meal and program the oven.

I don't know why we still don't have the most obvious network-enabled kitchen appliance: microwaves with bar-code scanners that set cooking times automatically. It's a ready-made metadata tagging schema, all it takes is an updated library of cooking times for a given SKU, pegged to the specific wattage of your unit and updated at night like a TiVo program guide. This is perfect for the kind of quick, unplanned meal that microwaves were made for. And how may times have you smelled burnt popcorn in the office because someone screwed up the cooking time? Hello, we went to the moon three decade ago! Bonus revenue stream: Agree to let the manufacturer track what you cook and eat, and you get some targeted marketing and coupons.

Connecting my toaster oven to my home network shouldn't involve anything more than it alerting me that the Hungry Man is done without having to set an alarm. But you know where this is headed: Pop a DVD into your media PC, and a Microsoft wizard pops up and says "Looks like you're watching a movie. Would you like me to cook some popcorn?" Or if my wife has programmed it: "That's your third serving of hot wings this week you're about to cook. What about your diet?" And the f*&^&%$g thing calls her, too.

Re:The Jetsons kitchen (1)

filtersweep (415712) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816643)

If you are the sort who thinks you left your oven on while you are away on a trip, you could assuage your OCD checking behaviors if this were implemented in a secure manner.

ECHONET (3, Interesting)

AoT (107216) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816543)

One part of this which is definitly novel is the talk of using appliance networks to minimize environmental impact. Not a bad idea. Thats the ECHONET [echonet.gr.jp] they talk about in the standard.

Re:ECHONET (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816688)

eh? Talk? What talk?

I actually went to the echonet site. While they imply that echnoet will be good for the environment, there wasn't one single shred of information about anything to do with the relationship between "echonet" and "the environment".

eg. nothing explaining in what way ECHONET will "sve the environment" or whatever.

Oh, I can hardly wait! (5, Funny)

some old guy (674482) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816551)

Let's see now, my garbage disposal locks up, causing a buffer overflow in my toilet. Meanwhile, my Smart Car fails to map my driveway and crashes.

Welcome to the brave new world.

a wiser man than myself once said (1)

understyled (714291) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816625)

i for one welcome our new eNetiConAppliance overlords [somethingawful.com] .

I can see it now... (5, Funny)

Bishop, Martin (695163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816553)

"Hacker burns down womans house with cell phone" "Malicious user ruins families turkey" "Woman not amused by recipe for 'Cooked lart'" "Top 10 ways to keep your refrigerator from BSODing"

Re:I can see it now... (1)

mattjb0010 (724744) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816582)

Malicious user ruins families turkey

Microwave corrects Slashdot reader's grammar.

Those crafty Japs sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816581)

....make the biggest god damn miniature shit you've ever seen!

HooBoy! (3, Interesting)

The Mutant (167716) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816584)

I just hope these folks think a lot about security; I had to configure my Apple Base Station to use MAC address for all my wireless devices (two iMacs, a G4 PowerBook and two 5450 iPaqs) since the little bastards across the hall took to fucking with it whenever they could see it.

For once I'm actually glad someone is just a PC user; if they were using Linux or OS X and knew about Kismet or KisMAC I'd have an ongoing problem.

Why can't kids just do graffitti throw rocks through windows like I used to?

Oh no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816587)

That's great. As if people war-driving to screw up your computer wasn't bad enough. Now they're going to cut your heat up to 100 degrees and kill your fridge so you won't even have cold beer. Life sucks enough as it is. iGiveup.

Re:Oh no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816635)

It is not THAT difficult secure a wireless network.

"It's good for recipes!' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816589)

History has shown that whenever the manufacturers of a new technology mention recipes, what they really mean is "we can't figure out what possible use this would be to the average person, but we still want to sell it."

Possible uses (2, Informative)

TheJorge (713680) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816593)

So of course this tech will wait until we find that one great use. But until, then there's plenty of druggery to be avoided:

You finish the orange juice, and scan the SKU. OJ is added to your shopping list, which your spouse can sync to their palm at work and use at the market on the way home.

Upon returning from shopping, you scan stuff as you put it away, or punch in produce codes (we all get jobskills as checkers as a side-effect). If you're like me, you buy some tomatoes, throw them in the crisper, and discover them three months later. A nice alert could be handy.

You plan out a couple meals, and the ingredients are added to your shopping list and you're alerted when mealtime comes what you had planned. On some random morning, you ask what you can have for breakfast and based on a recipe list and your current stock, you're given a set of choice. Choosing one, your fridge tells you to take out the milk and four eggs, and the cabinet tells you to take out the bread. (I'm not a cook-- we're making french toast). The stove tells you to turn it on medium and put battered bread on a skillet.

Obviously, for simple recipes this is useless and for complicated ones it doesn't save you anything more than looking back at a recipe, but if anything, we're a lazy population. More importanly, this could all be done with one standalone appliance with a barcode reader (kitchen pc, anyone?) But just because there's another way doesn't mean it can't catch on. People have powered toothbrushes and use the full-service pump at gas stations. We pay for others to wash our cars and change our oil, and buy lap dances rather than trying to pick up women and take them home. There may be a market for automating your grocery stock.

aut0tr0ll is teh sp0kE!? (-1)

Jack Froidalbungle (730156) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816595)

Hello master.

sid=90618
formkey=35reoPkdlP

This is a joint venture that will be mutually advantageous to both parties involved.

Is this news ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816642)

... hmm, definitely not. Even SIEMENS [siemens.com] has a thingy called instabus [siemens.de] .

However, this reminds me of the hero in UBIK (the author was honored here [slashdot.org] ) who always had difficulties with his appliances refusing to work as he was chronically out of credit.

The door refused to open. It said, "Five cents, please." He searched his pockets. No more coins; nothing. "I'll pay you tomorrow," he told the door. Again he tried the knob. Again it remained locked. "What I pay you," he informed it, "is in the nature of a gratuity; I don't have to pay you." "I think otherwise," the door said. "Look in the purchase contract you signed when you bought this conapt." In his desk drawer he found the contract; since signing it he had found it necessary to refer to the document many times. Sure enough; payment to his door for opening and shutting constituted a mandatory fee. Not a tip. "You discover I'm right," the door said. It sounded smug. From the drawer beside the sink Joe Chip got a stainless steel knife; with it he began systematically to unscrew the bolt assembly of his apt's money-gulping door. "I'll sue you," the door said as the first screw fell out.

Tough times to come.

CC.

yay! Just what we all need (0)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816649)

So now that Microsoft has entered the car market, and already have lots of the computer market, what would stop them from entering the stove, or kitchen market... Seems kind of risky to me if you think about it...

Maximum Overdrive (1)

primus_sucks (565583) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816653)

Hello people, anyone remember Maximum Overdrive [dyamba.com] .

A whole new meaning for Video Toaster? (1)

dilweed (698689) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816654)

And what happens to my Eggos when I have the pop-up killer running?

Why would you need a $6K refrigerator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816656)

Seriously. Some appliances may well be worth networking (the TV for instance), but most of them are not and this new trend will only make things more expensive.

Although it would be nice if the department's coffee maker could advertise via IM or e-mail that the coffee is ready.

Yay! for Japanese companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816658)

If it works like their own TRON alliance more power to them. Frankly none of American companies ever cooperate (semiconductor companies like TI or Motorola) and hence it's up to the Japanese counterparts to bring in the ubiquitous world, which we were promised years ago.

This would be quite useful in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7816680)

Most Japanese homes do not have central heating and so each room has a seperate space heater. Most appartments have just one heater that's left off when you are not home. With network enabled heater someone could call their heater in their appartment to tell it to heat the place up before you get home. I can't see this catching on for any other reason than that.

Should they be in the same sentence? (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 10 years ago | (#7816714)

From the ECHONET / iReady article :
Download from the internet a recipe or washing machine instructions to ensure ideal operations.

I hope these aren't meant to be downloaded to the same machine. Getting a washing machine and an oven mixed up could produce some strange results:

"Okay, so I just put the clothes in the washing machine like this, and push this button to get the wash cycle."
"Um... why is it adding a tablespoon of oil to the wash?"
"Now it's heating the clothes without water... they're turning brown"
"Okay, its put the water in (finally)"
"And I guess it's sort of mixing them. I always imaginged a bit more effort needed to get stuff out of clothes"
"Well, I must say those clothes look good enough to eat - shame about the dirt"

Or alternatively :

"I think I'll cook a roast today. Lets see, I push *this* button to get the recipe"
"Hmm. Expected time: 2.5-4 hours. Sounds about right"
"Okay, this looks about right. It's putting everything into the water, and soaking it, but no heat yet"
[2 hours later]
"Still no heat, and everything is getting rinsed in even more water"
"Oh dear. I don't think hanging that out in the sun is going to cook the food very well"
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