May 8, 2023
Smart appliances represent a growing trend in the residential and commercial appliance industries. According to Statista’s Smart Home Report, “The worldwide revenue for Smart Appliances was $29.1 billion (USD) in 2020 and is expected to increase to $81.5 billion (USD) by 2026.” To help manufacturers stay on top of the ongoing changes that come with smart appliances, UL Solutions has published UL 1499, Recommended Practice for Implementing Software Updates to Appliances.
A key expectation of smart appliances involves the ability to add new functional features via remote software updates to existing devices that have been purchased by consumers, such as washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, coffee makers, commercial food equipment, lighting and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. These software upgrades enable appliances to provide enhanced value to their users. In the past, the functionality of an appliance was fixed in its initial manufacturing. As a result, appliances had reduced value after purchase, as they could not offer the latest features that subsequent newer models incorporated.
UL RP 1499 specifies software update process engineering best practices in appliances. It encompasses the minimum elements of design, development and deployment of remote software updates. An appliance manufacturer demonstrating evidence of adhering to these recommended practices provides appliance and system owners with confidence that there is a robust process in place to help decrease systematic faults and there is a reliable method to deploy software updates to products already purchased.