Smart domestic appliances capable of connecting with each other and to the internet will prove a hit with consumers this year.
That's according to US publication Consumer Reports, which said smart appliances would end up being one of the major trends of 2013.
Reporting on the International Builders' Show (IBS), which took place in Las Vegas last week, the consumer news website said that in recent years smart appliances had focused on energy-saving. However, with many consumers unable to make full use of the technology and access cheaper energy tariffs from their supplier automatically, interest has remained low.
The report said appliance manufacturers had now switched their focus to concentrate on "connectivity and convenience".
Recent examples of connected appliances include the Wi-Fi-enabled wall oven from General Electric, which is capable of being controlled remotely through a home network. Launched at the IBS last week, the appliance has been targeted at householders who want total control over their home environment.
Jon Bostock, GE's marketing manager for cooking appliances, said: "If you want to preheat your oven while doing laundry, our new GE wall ovens can help.
"Don't worry about burning a casserole while you're doing the things that matter most, such as playing with your daughter in the yard. GE's app will notify you, so you can turn off the oven remotely."