There are appliances that will network directly with your home wireless network without the need for fancy technologies or “bridges” like the Z-Wave bridges, or special gateways for communication. Smart TVs have been around for a while, using either a hardwired or Wi-Fi connection to communicate with Apps such as Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Hulu etc… Same thing for game consoles, the PS3 and PS4, XBox and Wii all will connect to the internet and stream movies, music and TV shows for you.
Samsung, Whirlpool and several competitors have recently released “Smart Appliances.” These appliances monitor their own power usage, cycles and temperatures while sending your phone or tablet updates and information about what they are doing or the attention they need.
Fridges can now keep track of their temperatures, the items in them, their power and door alarms, and if necessary they can send you an email alert or “nudge” to remind you that they need attention. GE has an oven that will network and allow you to preheat it, change temperature and set cook times through an app should the need arise while Whirlpool has a washer and dryer set that can be monitored, started or stopped remotely. LG Even has a fridge that keeps track of expiration dates, helps write a grocery list and can network with it’s same brand oven to get it preheated or cooking temperatures right for that brand new recipe you always wanted to try.
The important thing to remember with these major brand appliances is that they work via your WiFi connection in the house and NOT through the z-wave technology your outlets, lights, sinks, doors and security might communicate via. This just makes networking them into one larger smart home a little bit more difficult, but in no way impossible to do.
Ultimately you may find that it’s better to have your appliances on one network communicating with each other and your small household systems on another, it’s easier to keep track of and you know what they are doing. Using one app like Revolv and another like the LG ThinQ will let you keep track of your whole home system pretty easily and monitor energy usage, system settings and home security without compromising cost or convenience. The last thing anyone wants to do is have an extreme number of apps, logins buttons to find to control their Smart Home. Home automation systems are designed to improve efficiency and help make life easier. Not become a headache of wasted time and energy keeping track of a large number of systems.