Google Cloud and GE Appliances have announced a multi-year deal to develop smart appliances. Google Cloud will be bringing its artificial intelligence and machine learning knowledge, plus its reserves of data and analytics expertise to the partnership, while GE will be providing home appliances knowhow.
GE Appliances sells products in the US under the brand names GE, Haier and Hotpoint among others, and is part of the Haier Group worldwide.
First off, what this partnership means for consumers is smart home appliances that are optimised to work across Google platforms, Google Assistant and Android devices.
However, since Google is one of the key companies collaborating on the unifying connectivity standard Matter, we’d hope and expect that any smart appliances will work equally well for iOS and Alexa users.
But more than mere platform connectivity, the partnership will leverage Google Cloud Vision AI to create personalised features and provide insights and energy saving tips to users.
Commercial customers will also see benefits, gaining the power to control fleets of appliances, troubleshoot and extend product life, ultimately saving their businesses money.
GE Appliances currently sells a range of connected appliances in the US, which users control via the SmartHQ app. However, since the Google Cloud deal will see Google’s expertise integrated into the production and design of appliances from inception onwards, we might expect to see a new app created, or at least the SmartHQ app overhauled.
In Europe, all smart appliances from Haier brands including Hoover and Candy currently connect via the hOn app. At this stage, we don’t know if the GE/ Google deal will lead to further collaborations between brands and sub-brands in other regions.