Then this post from Lynne Kiesling should be it. In it, she talks about real, tangible possibilities for intelligent appliances:
Yesterday morning as I was pouring water for tea, the "filter" button on the door display turned orange, and the display now shows the message "order filter". Without my having to do anything, the designers of the refrigerator programmed it to communicate this information to me when the remaining filter capacity fell to 20%.
In my Pavlovian way, what do you think I did? I naturally looked up the part number and did an online search for the filter. I found a filter store with prices that are 5% off of retail, I don't have to pay sales tax (which is meaningful in Cook County, which has the highest sales tax in the country), and I got an email about two hours later that the filter had already shipped. In fact, I bought two, so I won't have to think about this again for another year. DONE! And I was happy that my refrigerator was intelligent enough to communicate this information to me.
But think about it ... this capability is just the tip of the iceberg (pun intended!).
Def. read the whole thing.