In a buzz word-heavy announcement this morning ("simplexity?"), German manufacturer Siemens joins General Electric, LG, Samsung, and Whirlpool in adding app-driven connectivity to its home appliances today. A new Home Connect iOS app will support three products in the company's iQ700 appliance line, with more devices and an Android app coming online in 2015.
The appliances for launch include an in-wall oven/microwave combo device, a steam oven, and a dishwasher. Each has its own set of device-specific controls and features in the Home Connect app, ranging from temperature and timing control, to recipes and shopping list generation, to dish loading instructions and power and water consumption data.
Unlike some of its competitors, Siemens' Home Connect app will wrangle controls for multiple appliances in one place (hence "simplexity"). The company says it plans to add connectivity to its own laundry and small appliances later next year.
Because Home Connect is an open standard, the Siemens app can also control appliances from any other manufacturer that uses it. Right now Bosch is the only other appliance manufacturer on that list. The company says it opted for Home Connect over Apple's HomeKit for iOS due to the breadth of controls required to operate its various large appliances. Home Connect will support that complexity, but HomeKit apparently doesn't, at least not yet.
In addition to Home Connect, Siemens is also introducing an updated design to the iQ700 family. The units all share a sleek black front, stainless steel highlights, and a touchscreen interface. Except for a control wheel and a low profile handle, they also all sit flush with your cabinet fronts.
No pricing information is available for the new iQ700 line yet, but they traditionally serve as Siemens high-end appliance family. Adding Home Connect will add €100 ($130, £80, AU$140), whatever the cost of the appliance itself. The three Home Connect-compatible appliances will be available in Q4 2014 in Germany and Austria, with roll-outs to the rest of Europe next year. Release in other markets is still to be determined.