Google Sounds Off to Whirlpool Appliances

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Whirlpool is taking its smart-home partnership with Google to the next level.

Starting soon, select connected Maytag and Whirlpool brand washers and dryers built as far back as 2016 will be able to receive voice notifications from Google Assistant.

Unlike traditional voice-command features that require direct questions, the new functionality will allow Google’s virtual assistant to proactively update appliance users on the status of laundry cycles, including real-time notifications when the load is ready for the dryer and when drying is complete.

The feature will be extended to select connected JennAir and KitchenAid products later this year, Whirlpool said, and to other smart appliances including ovens, refrigerators and microwave ovens thereafter.

The new capability will be conferred via an over-the-air software update at no charge.

“Whirlpool Corporation is deeply committed to offering the best possible appliance user experience,” said Ludo Beaufils, Whirlpool’s North America product marketing VP. “Through our ongoing voice collaboration with Google Home, we have introduced industry-leading voice-command capabilities to our products to make them even easier and more enjoyable to use. We are thrilled to be working with Google on Google Assistant voice notifications, as this will help us in our mission of improving life at home for our consumers around the globe.”

The initiative was announced last month at Google’s annual I/O developer’s conference, held at company headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.