This convenience comes at a price. A Whirlpool washer/dryer combo with smart connectivity costs $3,600, compared to under $1,000 for entry-level models. While appliance and electronics makers believe consumers will go for convenience over cost, some analysts are skeptical that the public is ready for tweeting fridges or remote controlled vacuums.
"From an appliance standpoint, they are getting there, but it's still pretty early," said Neil Strother, a senior analyst at Boulder-based Pike Research.
He says there are several big obstacles to consumers jumping from smartphones to smart appliances. They are still 50 to 100 percent more costly that "non-smart" appliances and manufacturers still haven't agreed on a common household communications platform that would help integrate stereo/TV/computer systems with kitchens and laundries, for example.
Last week, Microsoft purchased R2, a company that makes a Xbox-like controller that attempts to do just that.
But perhaps most importantly, Strother says, overall energy prices are predicted to remain stable or go down in the next few decades. That means a too-expensive, energy-miser appliance may not pay off over the long run (see electric cars).