It seems that every year, without fail, at my house during the holidays a major appliance breaks down. Whether it’s the garbage compactor gear that cracked the day before Thanksgiving, the dishwasher that flooded the kitchen after Christmas dinner, or the snowblower that needed a new belt just when the icy driveway needed to be cleared before guests arrived.

Besides the unwelcome stress and inconvenience, the repair bills after the fact – including service call hours charged for diagnosing the problem and lengthy waits for expensive replacement parts – compound the problem.

But what if these machines never broke down in the first place? Instead of reacting to problems, trying to figure out who to call, and worrying about if you still have warranty coverage, the appliance itself proactively sensed an impending failure and ordered covered replacement parts in advance of a problem.

That’s the promise of the Internet of Things and a new approach to cloud computing with event-driven, serverless architectures. Software running on a device at the edge that is paired with analytics in the cloud promises to improve quality of service and lower cost of maintenance resulting in better customer satisfaction.

The OpenFridge project demonstrates an edge-to-cloud scenario that integrates the Watson IoT platform, OpenWhisk, and Bluemix services. It also describes the new programming model used in this emerging type of application design, and discusses the benefits relative to traditional cloud development approaches.

View the entire Outsmart appliance problems with IoT Journey, including demos, code, and more!

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