Get the best Black Friday deals on mobile tech here!

Your Android phone's alternative buddies at CES: Ford cars, Dacor ovens, Samsung fridges

Your Android phone's alternative buddies at CES: Ford cars, Dacor ovens, Samsung fridges
A lot of tech folks are somewhat miffed at the lack of big announcements at this year's CES edition. Granted, the TVs are finally moving away from the 3D flop and into something more tangible like Ultra HD resolutions and curved OLED panels, and in our neck of the woods we had a waterproof Full HD screen Xperia Z phone from Sony, but there was nothing earth-shaking, they say.

We tech journalists are a spoiled bunch, though, as we get to play with the latest and greatest on a critical eye, and often whine about quibbles most wouldn't even notice. There were actually many underground trends to discover at CES 2013, and one of them was Android creeping onto every gadget imaginable, and ready to communicate with its original edition on your smartphone. 

We'll just list you three examples, so you can see for yourself where this is going - we had Android-controlled fridges on display last year, but this CES edition the manufacturers really took it to the next level, and we can only imagine what we'll be able to do with our Androids next year.

Dacor's Android oven 

Dacor, which refers to itself as a "market leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of luxury kitchen appliances since 1965," came up with an oven running Android ICS, of all things, and the design and interface there has been developed in collaboration with BMW Group DesignworksUSA, which are consulting many design projects, not only the renowned car maker.

Packing a 7" display, and powered by a 1GHz Exynos processor joined by half a gig of RAM, 16 GB of storage and microSD slot, the Android component uses 4.0.3, and it can run apps from the Play Store, but the real innovation is the interface and integrated cooking apps. There is a built-in controller to access the Dacor Discovery IQ Cooking Application and Guide, and the oven can be reached remotely via your Android phone or tablet as well.

The guide preprograms the steps you need to take for thousands of popular recipes, and leads you during the preparation. When the dish is ready, the oven will alert you on your phone with a push notification or text, and you can, say, tell Dacor's gadget to warm it up before you get home. Self-diagnostics messages and troubleshooting can also be sent over to your phone or tablet, and the oven works in the background with Dacor's servers to receive automatic firmware updates and the like.

Samsung's Evernote fridge

Samsung's new T9000 refrigerator runs the Evernote app on a 10" LCD display built into the front door, and uses it to "share photos, videos, and even recipes with family and friends," instead of the usual Post-its you slap on your golden oldie cooling box in the kitchen.

The T9000 is, of course, loaded with high-tech stuff like Samsung's Triple Cooling System for "commercial grade humidity levels maintained in the fresh food compartments with the help of two compressors, three evaporators and an array of sensors to keep produce fresher longer."

Whether you think this is overkill or not, the fridge with the Evernote app will dawn on you faster than you can say "I'm out of ice," and it even has baby monitoring capabilities, we kid you not, as well as the usual assortment of calendar and weather apps. From here it is just a stone throw away to a full-blown Android refridgerator next year.

Ford's OpenXC for Android

Ford released the Ford OpenXC SDK for Android developers at CES 2013, designed to allow anyone with an Android device access to their Ford car’s sensor data. Needless to say, this can serve many purposes, and is open source, but it's only data that is accessible, not the embedded software that runs the vehicle, so as nobody would hack into the process.

Developers can play with things like average gas mileage, GPS coordinates trail or vehicle speed data in many forms to create innovative apps that will let you follow your driver's habits and experience with your specific vehicle through your phone.

Another possible application is that this kind of data is collected with an app, and sent anonymously to Ford's central servers for averages, comparisons and troubleshooting, so that Ford can improve on the car building process, or address any problems that arise with a certain percentage threshold of drivers quicker than ever. You will also be able to compare your averages with other drivers that sport similar usage pattern, and get alerts if things are out of whack with your vehicle, signalling potential trouble ahead, for instance.

These are just three examples of what's out there, and don't even get us started on the new home automation solutions controlled via your Android smartphone or tablet, which are worthy of a separate piece. What do you think, do you approve of where things are heading with the increasing interconnectedness of our phones, cars and household appliances - are you excited, or do you think this is overkill and too much information to share with someone's servers?


Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless