Electrolux, IBM make household appliances smart, green

A new collaboration between Electrolux and IBM subsidiary The Weather Company has turned into a reality a scenario where household appliances are smart enough to read the weather forecast and give recommendations on when to start the dryer because it’s about to rain, or when to turn off the air purifier because the air quality that day is good.

With the help of The Weather Company, consumers will have the option to make smarter decisions in their households to increase energy efficiency and lessen their impact on the environment. 

Hyper-localised data on air quality, pollen levels, humidity and temperature will be sent via IBM’s weather data API to Electrolux and used as a basis for smart app recommendations about when to use appliances such as clothes dryers, air purifiers and air conditioners. 

This added level of information can help consumers make energy-saving decisions in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, where high levels of air pollution, heat and humidity are common.

To create a forecast, the team uses AI and analytics to pull weather models together with relevant data sources and arrive at the most accurate forecast, with oversight from an expert team of meteorologists. 

“The work we are doing here with Electrolux is the tip of the iceberg in what we can achieve with this technology,” said Martin Chee, Managing Director, IBM Singapore.

These real-time, geo-targeted weather predictions will be made available through the Electrolux Life App enabling sustainable living recommendations on a daily basis. Users will be prompted to use their clothes dryer when rain is forecast or when the air quality is not acceptable for air-drying. 

The app can also control other inputs for appliances, such as the humidity control for air conditioners and accurate readings of indoor and outdoor weather to inform the use of air purifiers. 

“Through extensive consumer-focused workshops with IBM’s The Weather Company, we found simple technology integrations that best help us live out our Better Living promise to consumers,” said Gaurav Julka, senior manager for connectivity at Electrolux, APAC & MEA. 

“Having cutting-edge weather insights means that consumers will enjoy recommendations about their connected appliances tailored specifically and uniquely to where they live. In this way, we also help environmentally-conscious consumers to save energy and make better sustainable decisions,” he said.