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Microsoft Cloud Technology

Microsoft and Miele Team Collaborate To Cook Up an IoT Revolution 105

Mark Wilson writes When people talk about the Internet of Things, there are often semi-joking references to fridges that know when you've run out of milk and ovens that know how to cook whatever you put in them. Forget the jokes; this is now a reality. We've already seen a generation of smart appliances, and Microsoft wants to be part of what happens next. At Hannover Messe today, Miele — of oven, vacuum cleaner and washing machine fame — announces it is working on a new breed of appliances based on Microsoft Azure Internet of Things (IoT) services What does this mean? Ultimately it means you'll be able to find a recipe online, have the ingredient list and preparation instructions sent to your mobile device, and your smart oven will be automatically configured with the correct settings.
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Microsoft and Miele Team Collaborate To Cook Up an IoT Revolution

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  • by Lumpio- ( 986581 ) on Sunday April 12, 2015 @04:25PM (#49458945)
    - every company ever, when announcing their new product
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      Come on, saving three seconds of knob turning to set the temperature and timer surely counts as a "revolution" in food preparation, no?

      • by itzly ( 3699663 )

        Yes, and it only half a day to configure everything. And then it's still wrong, and you have to reboot your quiche recipe.

      • Come on, saving three seconds of knob turning to set the temperature and timer surely counts as a "revolution" in food preparation, no?

        According to those who feel we "need" this tech, yes.

        Of course the irony here is the hundreds of hours spend coding an IoT device to save 3 seconds.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You have to pay MS taxes also for kitchen machines.

    • - every company ever, when announcing their new product

      Then perhaps we need a new kind of universal programming language like htmlx, where the application runs like a browser, and controls compatible htmlx appliances. Lets not have every damned appliance having a different unique programming interface.

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Sunday April 12, 2015 @04:29PM (#49458967)

    to facebook
    AUTOMATICALLY

    • by Anonymous Coward

      And your it'll have a 2D monochromatic white on purple metro interface with live tiles to set your cycle, that app will need 500MB of updates every month, which will be applied per user (that will need a MS cloud/app store account of course!) and they will have to pull updates because it crashes some of them. It'll be marketed by people trying desperately to look cool like Belfiore and his new haircut, showing how Cortana on your now bing-infested dishwasher can predict the next superbowl scores. And a year

      • by Anonymous Coward

        And when you want to start your dishwasher while leaving for work, it'll have unskippable updates followed by a 15 minute reboot. I'm sure it'll be supported nearly as well as Games For Windows Live or PlaysForSure! Recipes will probably need a Xbox Live Account or some other bullshit, but your oven will be able to show your xbox scores and your fridge will be able to play netflix...

    • by stox ( 131684 )

      I can imagine sharing other loads on the evil book of faces. Automagically!

    • to facebook AUTOMATICALLY

      I have seen the future...and it is shit.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday April 12, 2015 @04:34PM (#49458995)

    Ultimately it means you'll be able to find a recipe online, have the ingredient list and preparation instructions sent to your mobile device, and your smart oven will be automatically configured with the correct settings.

    I fail to see where any of this is saving me much time or effort compared to what I can do today. We already keep our grocery list in a Dropbox file. One might argue that knowing you're out of something is an advantage; but in practice it's too late at that point - and "running low" is dependent on what you're planning to eat over the next several days.

    Having a recipe displayed on my phone or iPad is certainly handy - but I can do that now, with no more effort than is described above ("find a recipe" is the only effort involved - and you have to do that either way).

    Configuring the correct settings on my smart oven? That's like 5 seconds - tops - on my current oven. And my current oven is at least 25 years old! I have to turn a dial to set the temperature... oh, the humanity!

    Seriously, as far as I can tell the only "advantage" this particular corner of the Internet of Things offers is either to 1) advertisers hoping to sell me stuff; or 2) other various parasites.

    • by ATMAvatar ( 648864 ) on Sunday April 12, 2015 @06:35PM (#49459695) Journal

      The advantages are those which aren't listed: the appliances will *also* send that recipe and ingredient list to your HMO so they can jack up your rates and to advertisers who can then send you targeted advertising.

      Oh, you wanted features for individuals? Well, the main feature is that eventually you won't be able to purchase a device *without* IoT

    • I agree. What will happen if you down a recipe and use a different ingredient? Will you fight with your stove to change the settings. It sounds like a typical Microsoft product.
    • I fail to see where any of this is saving me much time or effort compared to what I can do today.

      It'll be like Slashdot's autorefresh gimmick - maximum annoyance for minimum benefit. It interrupts my reading to save me absolutely zero effort.

    • by debma ( 3659077 )
      The only reasonable motive that I can think of is that they want to mislead their competitors.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Miele, the company building what's basically the best on the market of its kind (at a price, if you can afford it), cooperating with Microsoft, providing questionable quality "must have" monopoly-ware.

    Can this end well?

    • Miele, the company building what's basically the best on the market of its kind (at a price, if you can afford it), cooperating with Microsoft, providing questionable quality "must have" monopoly-ware.

      Can this end well?

      That was my thought, too. This might put a dent into the reputation of Miele if these new (presumably higher end of the line) devices keep having software issues.

      Also, Miele keep advertising the quality of their products by claiming a long lifecycle - e.g. the new Miele dishwasher my mother recently bought is advertised as "all parts designed for 20 years of use". I wonder how this will work with Microsoft software and Azure access built-in.

  • Here's a list of reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things:

    1) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I sleep.

    2) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I pee.

    3) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I make kaka.

    4) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I pleasure myself.

    5) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I wash my body in the shower.

    6) Internet of Things devices could watch me while I relax in the tub.

    7) Internet of Things devices could watch me whil

  • We've already seen a generation of smart appliances

    What's with the "we", paleface?

  • No wait seriously, I think I've been using my oven wrong all these years. Seems there's Bake, Broil, or Convection...and then a temperature. Is that really so farking hard? You're in your kitchen cooking things, is it so much to ask that you push 4 buttons? (assuming the b/b/c buttons are independent, and that you then put in a 3 digit temp). I totally get wanting an easy way to keep track of what you have in the pantry and frig, and correlating that to things you can make atm and things you need to buy
    • by fintux ( 798480 )

      Seems there's Bake, Broil, or Convection

      Actually in Europe, the ovens have more than just a couple of functions. It's quite typical to have lower, upper and combined heat, convection and grill plus some combinations of or alternating between those. Also some models have an integrated thermometer for meat etc. Not that setting them up would still require an Internet connection. But having the correct function, temperature and timer set ready perhaps reduces the risk of human error. But I'd actually rather see an oven that monitors the color of the

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You will not be able to vacuum your flat if you do not pay your comcast bill.

  • by tomxor ( 2379126 ) on Sunday April 12, 2015 @04:51PM (#49459135)
    Cmon people are not interested in "IOT" in their life, it's going to end up as a commercial tool where automation is needed, no one wants this shit in their home it doesn't improve anything substantially enough.
    • Cmon people are not interested in "IOT" in their life

      This. And this angers me about the IoT articles. There is so much good stuff about IoT. I actually saw a presentation from Microsoft about their Azure service and it seemed (hope you're sitting down) intelligent, common sense, cost effective, and showed a real tangible benefit in having device IoT. It was about predictive maintenance in individual devices which fail in their own time without warning and when they do fail they impact the wider population (think escalators and elevators). The work MS was doi

      • by tomxor ( 2379126 )

        Yes there's loads of good stuff about IoT in the correct context. I just don't get these people who are so obsessed with applying a technology to something that it clearly does not benefit enough for anyone to give a flying fuck "because it's cool", it only damages it...

        It's like those amateur inventors who are so amazed by themselves actually coming up with a solution that they are blinded and cannot see it's utterly useless for what they are applying it to... it's the "It's such a neat solution it just ha

  • I've been disconnecting things, not connecting them. Not going to change directions.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday April 12, 2015 @05:11PM (#49459259)

    As if the current one wasn't... but this will be a completely new beast.

    You will have not only a customer base who doesn't know jack about the internet (and who might not even care about it, let alone consider their fridge, toaster or dishwasher being even remotely connected to the internet), you will have MS with its record of treating security as an afterthought, leading to half-baked tacked-on solutions that may or may not finally work more or less correctly after half a dozen iterations or so.

    And now let's ponder why this might be a problem with appliances that might be a bit hard to "field-upgrade", simply due to their nature of not having a sensible user input interface. Let alone having users that often neither know nor care about their ability to be upgraded.

    But, and that's the important bit here, this isn't just some "toy", like what a computer is to many people out there. A computer is something they use for their pastime. To play, to collect pictures, to surf the 'web, to have fun. If it doesn't work, well, that's a pity but nothing that would make the world stop. But with the IoT we're talking about the machines that store and prepare their food, the machines that clean their clothes and dishes, stuff that does matter to many people more than their "toy" computer.

    And don't think that after a while of crappy, insecure appliances with embarrassing hacks we'll get better secured appliances. Remember who the companies are that you're dealing here. It ain't MS and Nintendo. We're talking the likes of GE here. They don't make their stuff more secure. They simply have finding security holes outlawed. It's cheaper. And they already bought the politicians anyway, so they can as well let them get to work. And of course the idiots will cheer that their fridge will no longer cook their cheese now that they're secure from the evil hackers.

    I predict a lot of rather interesting times coming our way.

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      I just hope any connected device that can heat up requires manual intervention to turn on... I don't want to think about what'd happen if you could turn up the oven remotely.
    • by MrHim ( 703476 )
      And don't forget that because this is a brave new world, dozens of different companies are going to compete for it. One or two will succeed, most will fail, and a lot of houses will be littered with IoT devices with firmware that is no longer maintained because its creator is now out of business. This is so going to suck.
  • Old Joke (Score:5, Funny)

    by aquabat ( 724032 ) on Sunday April 12, 2015 @05:19PM (#49459305) Journal
    Microsoft teams up with a vacuum cleaner company, to finally produce a product that doesn't suck. This stuff just writes itself.
    • by Epeeist ( 2682 )

      Microsoft teams up with a vacuum cleaner company, to finally produce a product that doesn't suck

      Given my experience of Miele and their products this could be a godsend. A device that contacts "Customer Experience" directly when it breaks down yet again without me having to wait 20 minutes listening to "music" and advertisements because "all their operatives are busy" (though my call is valuable to them).

      • by itzly ( 3699663 )

        A device that contacts "Customer Experience" directly when it breaks down

        1. Try rebooting your appliance.
        2. Did this solve your problem ?
        3. If not, please call customer service.

  • by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Sunday April 12, 2015 @05:34PM (#49459389)

    Smart homes and appliances have been the promise of the future for decades. And, for the past fifteen years or so, we've had all the technology that we need in order to achieve this. The problem is that the big players all want to own the workflow. You'll have to have a separate flipping app for everything you want to control. For the oven manufacturer, these features will be less about you having a more useful cooking tool, and more about a marketing deal with the software company that requires you operate the features through their walled garden. Sure, we'll have pockets of innovation, and even a few outliers that get it right, but I don't see it becoming anything more than a hodge podge of spotty functionality.. At least for the next decade or so.

    The solution will likely come from AI that can control those devices intelligently the way humans do, without waiting around for a standard protocol / interface.

    • The only "appliances" I think would be useful to have some integrated smarts is heating and cooling systems, and possibly lighting systems. If you can *reliably* determine where people are in the house at all times, then there's no reason to heat, cool, or light areas of the house where people are not currently residing. This, of course, would only make sense in a fairly large house in which areas of it regularly go unused (so probably not my own house). The same personal detection functionality would al

      • by itzly ( 3699663 )

        I think it would be nice to have a simple app to control and program the thermostat instead of trying to decipher what the hell all those buttons and functions do, as those are some of the worst-designed devices I've ever seen.

        Of course, the people who can't design a simple device may do much better when designing a simple app.

        • I'd suggest they'd have a far better chance at doing so.

          It seems fairly difficult to design a good interface for a device with a lot of advanced functionality when your budget only allows push buttons and a limited resolution B&W LCD screen. Moreover, the user trying to set the thermostat is leaning against the wall and squinting at the screen and the tiny button labels, and so has a limited tolerance threshold for trying to figure the thing out.

          By contrast, any application for smartphone or PC has the

  • Ultimately it means you'll be able to find a recipe online, have the ingredient list and preparation instructions sent to your mobile device,

    I already have that. Its called allrecipes (allrecipes.com) and conveniently allows me to check off ingredients I already have. Best of all, it is free.

    and your smart oven will be automatically configured with the correct settings.

    My oven is a device that if misconfigured can start fires or fill the house with explosive gas. It is about the last thing I would connect to the internet, especially with Micros~1 running it.

  • ..of the personal computer era

    Most of the speculations about how personal computers would be used were wrong..comically wrong

    Most of the articles I see today about the Internet of Things seem silly, comically silly (NO, I don't want my refrigerator to order anything)

    I suspect that there may actually be some useful ways to put "things" on the internet..we just haven't invented them yet

  • "Ultimately it means you'll be able to find a recipe online, have the ingredient list and preparation instructions sent to your mobile device, and your smart oven will be automatically configured with the correct settings."

    Boy, that sounds like sounding straight out of the 1950s... a Carousel of Progress from a World's Fair or something... Elektro the Robot, vocoders, and AT&T picturephones...

    All it needs to complete the picture is a white woman in an apron, a white man smoking a pipe, and two smiling w

  • Microsoft logo'd fridges with start screens on the outside.
    A fridge that automatically orders too much food then crashes and spoils all the food.
    A new breed of cyber criminal that holds your pantry contents to ransom with malware.
    Where do I sign up?
  • North Korea will be able to burn your roast and make your milk turn sour.

  • What does this mean? Ultimately it means you'll be able to find a recipe online, have the ingredient list and preparation instructions sent to your mobile device, and your smart oven will be automatically configured with the correct settings

    No, the wealthy, the futurists, and the people selling us this stuff may or may not have it ... but the overwhelming majority of people for the foreseeable will have nothing of the sort.

    We're at least two decades, massive changes in how incompetent security is implemente

    • If Microsoft or Miele think I will own a "oven, vacuum cleaner and washing machine" which is connected to the internet they're delusional.

      Own it? Are you from the 1980s or something?

      It'll be more like "For one simple monthly fee..."

  • And also, Microsoft? My Washing Machine will show a blue screen? WTF! I would prefer a washing machine with the following features: * robust, reliable technology * fair to competitively priced * Using hardware like Arduino or Rasperry as the controller. * Using some flavor of linux if using Rasperry. I buy such a machine tomorrow if offered. If you have the balls and the time you can kind of build your own: http://www.zabex.de/site/wasch... [zabex.de]
  • A gigantic rebranding exercise?
  • Do these people even listen to themselves? They can't even communicate a coherent value proposition.

  • To go with all the tiny, blinking sea of blue screens of death that surround me.
  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Monday April 13, 2015 @07:07AM (#49461895) Homepage

    There are fancy microwaves and ovens galore, with all kinds of flashiness on them.

    I buy the one with the lowest number of dials and without any electronics, if at all possible.

    Microwave: One dial power, other dial time.
    Oven: One dial for each component for temperature. One dial for On/Off/Lights/etc.

    I know IoT is "the big thing" this week, but I can't see what advantage I gain. I still have to have the ingredients, I have to go through a check-in /check-out process for every ingredient, I have to buy expensive appliances and hook them all up to the Internet somehow (even on wireless, they're just sucking up my wireless bandwidth), and then I have to find the app recipe, press lots of buttons and - hopefully - it'll put the oven on 220 degrees as specified in the recipe.

    Or I could just turn the dial to 220 as I read the recipe. And just because something is in the fridge doesn't mean that I want to use it, so I end up using up the last of the butter that I need for the NEXT recipe I was going to do, because the fridge told me I had enough, etc.

    There are some things in life which shouldn't be over-complicated and, if you are bothering to cook from ingredients, enjoy doing so. Don't let the app rule the experience.

    And it will all go wrong that day you press "Cook" on the train on the way home and the oven sets fire to that turkey you forgot you left in there last night and you come home to a pile of ashes.

    Some things technology can benefit, and it's usually the stuff that's NOT lauded about as features until we're all already using them that way (e.g. SMS). The "big name features" tend to be gimmicks and fads.

    Honestly, I don't WANT to manage my kitchen from an electronic device. If I don't want to bother to cook myself, I'll get takeaway or someone to do it for me. The day I have to wire the kitchen for Internet will remind me of the day I was required to install a specific driver to get a monitor to display things... I'll be reeling in horror and desperately hoping technology will backtrack before I'm forced to catch up.

    And this is from a guy with RFID entry to his side-gate, dashcams and GPS-tracker in his car, etc. ffs.

    • I still have the oven that was installed in my house in 1959. Works great. Finding parts is a bitch, but it only breaks once every decade or two. Microwave died last week, I'll have to hunt down a two-dial model.
  • I find it very odd that people are concerned about enabling things like ovens and stove tops to assist with cooking plans.

    The people I know who actually take the time out of their lives to use these appliances are not the sort of people looking to shave 3 seconds off every daily process.

    The other people I know that are far too "busy" to ever cook for themselves are the ones lazy enough to embrace IoT, but it seems rather pointless attaching it to appliances they never use.

  • Forget the jokes; this is now a reality.

    Something can be a reality and a joke at the same time. This oven, for example.

  • What does this mean? Ultimately it means your fridge will get hacked because Whirlpool doesn't have the first goddamned clue about network security. Some jackass will order a bunch of shit you didn't want, or turn on your sprinklers in the middle of the day, or broadcast your "facial recognition" camera to show your wife getting a pearl necklace. The threat is directly proportional to the attack surface, and when everything has an IP, then everything is a potential attack vector.

You mean you didn't *know* she was off making lots of little phone companies?

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