Lawnmowers have an App

Lawnmowers have an App

I covered this type of computing power, with devices getting to know you, and being self-aware, as we enter a new age in technology, even simple little things like a lawn mower are going to be connected to us in ways you can’t imagine.

If you’re like most people, the only time you think about lawnmower maintenance is when the mower won’t start on a Saturday morning. The latest Craftsman-brand riding mower from Sears won’t let you forget, it relays its maintenance needs to your smartphone. It’s one of five new connected-home products that the big-box retailer announced today.

Sears made a big play in the connected-home market last year, unveiling connected-home showcases at a number of its retail stores. Now the company is adding connectivity to a number of its own products marketed under its Craftsman, Kenmore, and Die Hard brands. These include a new air conditioner, a water softener, a water-heater module, a car/motorcycle battery charger, and the aforementioned mower.

Consumers will see these products appear in select stores and online over the next few weeks and months, with additional ones appearing throughout the rest of the year. Each product will be capable of exchanging information with a smartphone or tablet so you can keep track of maintenance, adjust settings, and in some cases, remotely control the device (an unlikely scenario for the mower).

For now, however, it looks as though each product will be an island unto itself. Sears apparently has no plans to integrate the hardware into any of the connected-home platforms currently on the market.

Craftsman lawn mowers

Craftsman is Sears’ house brand for lawn and garden equipment as well as tools. The company has developed a Craftsman Connect app that can communicate with its Craftsman Zero-Turn Steerable Riding Mowers, enabling the mowers to send maintenance reminders to your smartphone or tablet.

Whenever the mowers need an oil change, an air-filter replacement, or if issues arise related to the blades or wheel alignment, it will send an alert to the app. You’ll then be able to schedule maintenance through Sears. If you’re the DIY type, the app will display videos showing you how to perform basic maintenance tasks.

Kenmore appliances

Sears will launch three smart products under its Kenmore brand: a room air conditioner, a water softener, and an add-on module for retrofitting certain Kenmore-brand water heaters.  The Kenmore Smart Air Conditioner connects to your home Wi-Fi, so you can program and control it with an app. The app also alerts you when the air-conditioners filter needs to be cleaned.

Sears’ Kenmore Smart Water Softener connects to an app on your smartphone and will send you an alert when the salt runs low. The app can also monitor water flow, alerting you to possible leaks in your plumbing, so from a child’s point of view, the chore of lawn mowing, or helping out Dad fill the water softener salt, have become an app for that. Some things don’t need a computer for a brain, what will I call my mower, Chuck? Imagine a text from your lawnmower, “Chad, this is Chuck, I need an oil change. Thanks for reading, and keep your PC safe and your family safer. Remember at “Hunt Technology”, you always get “Quality Service & Individual Attention” you deserve.

Hunt Technology, 320 Watson St., Ripon WI, 920-290-0936

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