It’s turning into a strange world once your rice cooker is smarter than your laptop. Then when your washing machine and dryer start letting you know when you need an extra spin cycle or extra 10 minutes drying time? That’s beyond strange. But this world is starting to become a reality because of the Android operating system. A recently available story by BusinessWeek highlighted a variety of strange places in which Google’s operating system Android is appearing. The strangest news of all? Having Android inside your rice cooker might actually be sensible.

Here comes Android

Google’s Android operating system has been a rather amazing success, at least when it comes to running the smartphone world. The BusinessWeek story quoted numbers by research firm Gartner showing that Android powered 72 percent of the smartphone market in the third quarter of 2012. That’s especially remarkable when you consider that rival Apple could only claim 14 percent of that market share during the same period.

Why the refrigerator?

But Google, clearly, hopes to see Android’s reach extend even further. That’s why the company’s researchers have developed a host of uses for Android in everything from your home refrigerator, to your dishwasher, to your dryer. And this move could pay off for Google in other ways, as well. For example, it might help them collect details on customer preferences. Google can then use this to tailor its money-making search feature. After all, Google makes tons of money with search, an industry that it still dominates. Whatever can help Google cement its grip in the world of online search, then, has to be considered a sensible economic move.

What would it do?

The next big question? Is it helpful to consumers to have Android in the refrigerator? The shocking response is “yes”. Here’s an illustration provided by the BusinessWeek story: Say you’re watching your favorite TV show. And you also plan to head out later that night, and you’d like to wear your favorite jeans. As you’re watching TV, a message pops on your screen telling you that your jeans need 10 more minutes in your dryer downstairs. Then, rather than walking down the stairs to manually start your dryer, you simply press a button on your TV remote control to get the dryer humming again. In other words, Android in your household appliances might be more useful than you’d think.

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