Whirlpool Collaboration With Google Assistant Brings Proactive Voice to Alert Systems

Cecilia Nysing

Those who remember the Jetsons cartoon on Saturday morning TV, wherein household appliances performed seemingly miraculous things, might like to know that technology is catching up with the fantasies of days gone by. In fact, Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corporation has announced today enhancements to its voice-command capabilities which will lead to your clothes dryer telling your through Google Assistant that the load is ready to be removed for folding and storage, and other real-time, proactive voice alerts.

Whirlpool tells us they are enhancing those voice-command capabilities as a launch collaborator for Google Assistant voice notifications, a new functionality available through Google’s intelligent personal assistant software. Unveiled at Google’s I/O Conference in Mountain View, California, Google Assistant voice notifications will be coming soon on select connected Maytag and Whirlpool brand washers and dryers manufactured since 2016, and on select connected JennAir and KitchenAid brand products later this year.

Unlike traditional voice-command features that require direct questions, these voice notifications will proactively alert appliance users with updates. For Whirlpool and Maytag brand washer and dryer owners, this will include alerts on the status of laundry and dryer cycles, including notifications of when laundry is ready to be moved to the dryer and when drying is complete.

Ludo Beaufils, Vice President of Product Marketing for North America, says, “As the world’s leading kitchen and laundry appliance company, Whirlpool Corporation is deeply committed to offering the best possible appliance user experience,” and adds, “Through our ongoing voice collaboration with Google Home, we have introduced industry-leading voice-command capabilities to our products to make them even easier and more enjoyable to use. We are thrilled to be working with Google on Google Assistant voice notifications, as this will help us in our mission of improving life at home for our consumers around the globe.”

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As Whirlpool Corporation further expands Google Assistant voice notifications support, other connected appliances such as ovens, refrigerators and microwave ovens will provide users with real-time, proactive alerts.

Owners of supported devices will be able to access the enhanced capabilities of Google Assistant voice notifications through a firmware update at no cost by adjusting the device settings in the Google Home App. Just tap on the Whirlpool device, the settings icon, and tap “voice notifications” to enable. Google Assistant voice notifications are supported in eight languages, and will be available for select Whirlpool Corporation products in the U.S. and other regions including Europe, India, Canada, and Mexico.

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