Faster Appliance Fixes

Sears, Roebuck & Co. is using remote diagnostics technologies to monitor Internet-enabled home appliances in a pilot project under way at 50 homes throughout the United States. Knowledge of which part has failed before a technician visits someone's home can cut costs for consumers and Sears, by reducing the number of trips a technician needs to make, for example. But for monitoring household appliances such as refrigerators to become widespread, there will need to be greater acceptance and availability of Net-enabled appliances. Research firm In-Stat/MDR predicts that 370,000 Net-enabled appliances will be sold in 2007, up from 13,000 in 2002.

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