Home technology still has much to learn from online technology

We live in a world where product features can be turned on and off as we wish.

So why does my gas dryer have a buzzer, and why can’t I opt out of it? Why wasn’t that designed into it? Why can I not hit a simple switch that prevents the five-minute warning and the end-of-cycle alarm that echo throughout my home? Is laundry that urgent and important? (Okay, I’ll agree it’s important, but do I really need the buzzer telling me to come get in five minutes, then telling me to come get it NOW!!)

And it’s not even an old dryer. Two years we’re talking here, people. Yet it was designed with a serious old-school mentality.

In an age when we can outsource the opt-out of junk mail…and when any free newsletter we sign up for requires clicking a confirmation link in an email to opt-in…when refrigerators can be networked…how did this engineering mishap slip through the design folks at a Kenmore? Maybe someone, somewhere does so many back to back to back loads that they need that urgent buzz so as not to waste a minute of time. Maybe.

But that’s not me and my wife. We don’t perk up or sprint into the laundry room when those buzzers go off. But unless I’m ready for serious heavy lifting to disengage those buzzers, I’m stuck with them, apparently.

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