With the Internet of Things, Smart Dishwashers Can Give Kids Chores

With the Internet of Things, Smart Dishwashers Can Give Kids Chores

Smart appliances in popular media have long teased us with visions of a more carefree, convenient life. In “ The Jetsons ,” a popular cartoon series from the 1960s, machines pretty much handle every household chore, from cleaning to breakfast. Our Roombas and Alexas haven’t quite gotten us fully there. Machines can’t handle the “last mile” of putting dishes away, for example. But an alternative exists: Machines can tell our kids to do it. In the latest twist on parenting in the digital age, smart dishwashers, coffeemakers, washers and dryers made by BSH—sold under brand names including Bosch, Thermador and Gaggenau—can now assign chores to children. That’s possible due to a recent partnership between the German appliance manufacturer and S’moresUp, a C alifornia-based developer of a parenting app. Here’s how that works: Users can see a list of possible chores related to BSH devices and assign them to the whole family or just one member. The app then sends a notification to the person’s smartphone or tablet. When the dishes are done, for example, the dishwasher creates a task in the S’moresUp app and notifies users to remove the dishes. Once that’s done, the chore-doer updates the status of the task in the app. Parents have the option to receive a final notification or request photo evidence of the completed chore. Developers tout the partnership as a “way to make home management and parenting easier.” But the extent to which routine duties are tracked, tallied and rewarded may leave some wondering whether these experiences are less “Jetsons” and more fitting for Netflix’s dark science fiction series “Black Mirror.” While S’moresUp has thought about more ways for parents and children to interact with its platform, the BSH partnership “took it to the next level,” says app co-founder Reeves Xavier. A tech consultant walks through the S’moresUp app. Chores Galore Based in Los Altos, Calif., S’moresUp provides parents a platform to measure how well and how often children complete chores. As they finish them, they earn points that can be used for rewards set by families. S’moresUp is decidedly aimed at the consumer market. But its founders hope that parents and teachers see educational value in the platform, says Priya Rajendran, the company’s CEO and cofounder. She believes the incentive system can help children develop positive habits around taking care of themselves and a household, and that learning how to manage and spend points can build skills related to financial literacy. The company plans to launch a pilot program with a school in India to see how the platform would work in the classroom. S’moresUp’s founders also hope to integrate with digital assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The S’moresUp app is aimed at children 4 to 12, but the founders say they know of users as old as 21. The company claims to have 225,000 users, most of them in the U.S. The basic, free version of the app comes with family management […]

Full article on original website: www.edsurge.com

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