Would You Like Your Appliances to be Smart as Well?

January 17, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Samsung says the future will have smart appliances, not just smartphones. The company’s vision materialized as an internet refrigerator with Pandora music app and an app on the washer that can ping you when a load is done.

What we are getting at is that Samsung may not be the only company pushing apps into other appliances as well. So the developers will have more to work on than smartphones and tablets and also create new advertising opportunities. And the manufacturers can have added functionality to their appliances than before.

But now, Samsung is the big guy in this space, boasting the largest library of TV-centric apps and the plans to follow the same strategy to create an ecosystem of appliance apps.

And, they have used their reach as the top TV company to rope in the developers, who would not say no to writing an app and having it run on Samsung Blu-ray players and home theater systems.

It doesn’t take long for companies to embrace this, says David Steel, the company’s senior vice president of North America strategic market. He added that apps for televisions would not have been considered as plausible a couple of years back.

Yet Samsung has been able to create a decent size, yet still niche, market for apps. Their TV line boasts 1,400 apps; the most among the television manufacturers, and 2,000 active members in its developer community, he said.

To market an idea is as important as the idea itself. To raise awareness for its TV ventures, Samsung has held developer contests. Party Shots, the winner of Samsung’s TV app contest was awarded with $100,000.

The interactive app lets users take pictures at an event or gathering with their phone and push them to a Samsung Smart TV, allowing the photo to be included in a slideshow in real time.

Samsung focuses on getting developers to come up with apps for a wide range of appliances. It is considering holding similar contests for the other appliances to spur smaller developers into considering these different areas, Steel said.

Do apps for each appliance in your home sound cool? Or would you like it to be limited to smartphones?

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