Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Smartphone seen as 'remote for your life'

13 January 2013, 17:03

Las Vegas - It can talk to your car, your refrigerator, water your plants and help you stay fit and healthy: the smartphone is becoming the consumer's remote control for life.

That was the message delivered by dozens of firms at the International Consumer Electronics Show, where terms like "appification" were tossed around freely.

The hundreds of thousands of "apps" developed for mobile platforms such as Apple's iOS, Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows Phone and showcased at the Las Vegas tech gathering are quickly taking a lot of functions that people or different devices used to do.

Nowhere was this more evident in the "connected home" zone of the world's biggest technology show.

'Android oven'

Samsung, the South Korean tech giant, showed a connected refrigerator which can stream music from a smartphone, while US appliance maker Dacor unveiled what it called the "first Android oven", with a panel to check e-mails and the web.

US appliance maker Whirlpool showed its line-up of smart appliances which can send a user a text message when the laundry is done. Whirlpool's refrigerator can also stream music through an app, enabling a host to set a playlist for each course of a dinner party, for example.

"You don't need to be friends on Facebook with your fridge, but it makes its use easier," quipped Warwick Stirling, Whirlpool's senior director of energy and sustainability.

South Korea's LG offered an integrated solution: one smartphone app which can remotely turn on a robotic vacuum or washing machine, or monitor something cooking in the oven.

An LG refrigerator, equipped with a touchscreen panel, can deliver a shopping list to your smartphone wirelessly, provided that the database is created in the appliance.

"You can control your life with a smartphone," said LG's Lisa Hutchenson.

Water plants

French-based firm Parrot and Korea's Moneual each showed off an app to allow smartphone users to keep their home plants watered, using a sensor which transmits information on temperature, light and humidity and alerts people when the plants are thirsty.

The home thermostat, locks and lighting can be controlled with an app developed by Ingersoll Rand.

"The phone can be your remote control for your house," said Matt McGovren, marketing manager for the maker of home equipment.

"Everything will be connected, even things not generally associated with smartphones, like locks."

In the car, drivers can mimic their key fob functions to control their car, track, locate and monitor their vehicles with an app from Delphi Automotive, shown at CES.

And Ford and General Motors announced at CES that they will be launching efforts to help app developers create programs which be used in vehicles, some of which already can play streaming movies or music from mobile devices.

"Up to now, radio was the only entertainment in the car," said Thomas Sonnenrein, of the German equipment maker Bosch.

"Today we have a system shared with the Internet, the smartphone and the car" which "creates a lot of value".


The health segment is exploding with apps which can monitor heart rate, blood sugar, distance travelled by runners and many other things seen in the CES fitness tech zone.

The integration of the television and smartphone was a major focus at CES, with numerous smart TVs sharing with mobile phones and tablets. Not to mention the simple use of the device as a remote TV control.

Shawn DuBravac, chief economist at the Consumer Electronics Association, told the CES opening session that 65% of time spend on smartphones now is "non communication activities" such as apps for health, entertainment or other activities.

"We have moved away not only from telephony but from communications being the primary part of these devices," he said.

"So it is not just a communications device, it is a hardware hub around which people build services... the smartphone is becoming the viewfinder for your digital life."



Tags us technology

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...