Tomorrow's Appliances May Remember Your Face

New Whirlpool patent details plan for appliances with biometric scanners.

The sleuths at have uncovered a patent application filed by Whirlpool, suggesting the home appliance giant may be experimenting with biometrics. The patent, updated less than two weeks ago, references a personalized interface that would sense and react to your appearance and voice to determine your identity, then immediately display the settings you use the most.

So if, like this writer, you prepare exactly six Totino’s Pizza Rolls every day after work, a future Whirlpool microwave might detect your presence, remember your face, remember your habits, and pre-set itself for a perfect 65 seconds on high.

Flow Chart
Logical flow chart found on Whirlpool's patent application document. View Larger

The system doesn't detect fingerprint biometrics, so there's no need to worry about hackers breaking into your oven and stealing your identity. These sensors are only capable of determining a basic profile for each user, consisting of “age, gender, and language,” according to the patent application.

The system doesn't detect fingerprints, so there's no need to worry about hackers breaking into your oven and stealing your identity. Tweet It

IPWatchdog also found some older, but still intriguing patents filed by Whirlpool, including an all-in-one "composting device," an "under-sink waste processing appliance," and a "dishwasher with transforming door" that separates the wash chamber into two separate compartments.

No word yet from Whirlpool on how long it will take to bring this technology to market (if ever). When asked for comment, the company replied:

Whirlpool continually explores a variety of consumer-relevant innovations within our leading brands, and in our expansion beyond our core products.

Whenever appliances of the future start reading faces, expect to be the first to try them out.

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