Indian home appliance OEM (original equipment manufacturer) E-Vision has launched its ED range of smart induction cooktops that are Bluetooth-enabled and come with in-built speakers and USB port. The company says users can connect their smartphones to it and listen to music while cooking or download an audio cookbook and listen to a recipe while preparing the dish. ED Smart Tops also feature a LED display and mini remote for hands-free operation. It’s currently available for Rs 3995 exclusively on Snapdeal.com.
The first thing that comes to mind is – would anyone use such a product? Why would anyone want to play music through a cooktop? Also, induction cooktops are at best used as an alternative to the primary LPG-powered cooktop in most households. It’s ideal for making maggi or coffee, but nothing more. And a standard induction cooktop, from reputed brands, is available for anything between Rs 1500-2500. So, would customers – even the ready to experiment ones – be willing to shell out an extra Rs 1500 just to listen to music?
One feature of the ED Smart Top that seems useful is the electricity consumption reader, which keeps the user updated about the power consumption. So, users will know which dish takes how many units of electricity to cook.
Smarter home appliances: At the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2013, Samsung had unveiled a prototype of its T9000 smart fridge with a LCD screen that featured a dedicated Evernote app. It allowed users to share photos, videos, and recipes with their family and friends and also featured calendar and weather apps. Some liked it and some hated it, but it makes more sense to me than a smart induction cooktop. It’s a nifty addition that can be used to put up reminders about food items that need to be bought, or open a recipe saved in Evernote while cooking. Plus, a lot of us anyway use the front door of a fridge to stick photos and quirky magnetic stickers, so why not virtual images?
There’s definitely a need for smarter home appliances, however it is important that product designers keep practicality and usability in mind.