Smart Appliance Protocol Goal of Task Force

Smart Appliance Protocol Goal of Task Force

Washington, DC A special task force formed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has agreed to proceed with establishing a voluntary standard protocol for the compatability and interconnectivity of "smart appliances" many of which will be available in 2001 AHAM announced.

The Washington, DC-based AHAM said that its "Smart Appliance Task Force," comprised of representatives from 17 AHAM-member companies, met in August "to set the course for future activities in the development of the standard."

A proposal from the committee is expected to be reviewed at a follow-up meeting, scheduled for late this month, AHAM said.

The group is working to identify a common protocol that will allow different brands and types of major and portable home appliances to communicate with each other and with the Internet, as appliances become increasingly linked throughout the home.

The formation of a marketing effort to educate consumers and the trade about "smart appliances," and to promote their benefits, is also under consideration, the trade association added.

Among the committee members are representatives from such companies as Amana Appliances, BSH Home Appliances, Frigidaire, GE Appliances, Maytag, Sub-Zero, Viking Range and Whirlpool Corp.

"Efforts are on a fast track," observed AHAM President Joseph McGuire. "The appliance industry recognizes a sense of urgency to develop a common communication protocol as soon as possible.

"Standardization needs to occur so that different brands of appliances can communicate with each other" McGuire said.