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Column: Tech companies crash the connected home, make a mess

MINYANVILLE

MINYANVILLE Credit: MINYANVILLE

Samsung isn’t known for its kitchen gadgets, but the Korean conglomerate is trying to change that.

“There’s a lot of room for innovation in home appliances,” co-CEO Boo-Keun Yoon told Fortune magazine earlier this year.

The Samsung smart refrigerator is one such innovation. It runs Android and boasts an 8-inch touchscreen, embedded just above the water dispenser.

The idea of a Youtube-enabled fridge has, at times, been met with ridicule, but Amazon reviewers seem to like the functionality. What they don’t like are busted icemakers and broken doors; Samsung’s appliance has been pilloried for mechanical issues.

Nest Labs has a similar problem. Founded by a pair of former Apple engineers, this startup made a name for itself several years ago with the Learning Thermostat, a smart climate controller.

The device looks like something designed in Cupertino: It’s simple, beautiful, and intuitive, in the best tradition of consumer tech. It also goes berserk on occasion, turning houses into ovens or iceboxes. In fairness, most buyers never experience this problem – but it’s still remarkable, in this day and age, for a thermostat to fail so completely.

Full story at Minynaville.

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