Washington Post: Appliances to Be Linked to Internet

“It seems that consumers have been hearing about the Smart Home
for a millennium or so: You know, the refrigerator that knows when
it’s out of milk, the microwave oven that knows how to cook the
potatoes, the dishwasher that can be turned on from the

“But suddenly, in the last two weeks, these pie-in-the-sky
appliances seem a little closer to earth after a spate of strategic
alliances between appliance manufacturers and technology companies
to harness the power of the Internet to deliver the high-tech
goodies they’ve been promising for so long.”

“This is kind of like the Normandy invasion,” said Bill Kenney,
Sears vice president for strategy. “You will see products with
service capability that will stretch your imagination in the years
to come. This is a big deal.”

“Already, producers of competing versions of software to make
all these gizmos talk to each other akin to the early battles over
Betamax and VHS in the home-video industry are making their case
with manufacturers…”

“… will your “smart” toaster talk to your “smart” phone?
If it does, will it have a constructive conversation, or will the
two devices just argue about networking protocols all the

“The people developing Sun’s and Microsoft’s home-network
technologies can’t say for sure.”

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