Smart appliances are likely to be a flop

smart appliances

Many of us have at least one home automation gadget at home, but apparently the market for smart appliances is far from fully taking shape. To say it is not a study by analysts but the same LG, which has since officially given goodbye to smartphones has stepped up its business in producing smart TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and so on. And thanks to his know-how computer science, LG is one of the leading manufacturers of new generation household appliances, capable of interfacing with the network to trigger new functions; despite this, the company claims that less than half of household appliances are connected to the internet.

Manufacturers confirm: users don't really use smart appliances

smart appliances

Every time a company like Samsung, LG, Amazon and Google presents a new home automation product, it does so by showing it inside a smart home where each appliance is interconnected to the others. This would be their wish, but the reality of the facts is very different: even if smart appliances represent 80/90% of those sold by LG, there are few that really make up the so-called Internet of Things; in the case of another brand like Whirlpool, the percentage rises to "more than half", even if specific numbers are missing.

In the panorama of the economic crisis that is afflicting all companies, the manufacturers of household appliances they want to encourage connection. In this way, companies could acquire useful data to profile customers (anonymously), discovering their cooking, washing and more general use of the house habits. As a consequence, manufacturers would have more information for the sale of spare parts and the offer of various subscriptions; as LG states, collecting data on the amount of water circulating in your refrigerator ensures that the user receives a notification when the filter needs to be replaced. Not to mention that a connected appliance means an appliance that works better, being able to receive OTA updates that improve its functions and correct any problems; for example, Whirlpool has updated its smart washers by adding a leak detection feature.

The problem occurs when users do not connect home automation products to Wi-Fi, and the reasons can be very varied. There are those who don't trust the risks of the internet, those who simply never connect it or connect it but then change their operator or password and forget to reconnect it. “The challenge is that a consumer doesn't see the true value that manufacturers see in terms of how that data can help them in the long run, so they don't really care to connect that.” says Henry Kim, director of the American division LG ThinQ. The South Korean company has specified that it is working to solve this problem, for example equipping household appliances with stronger antennas to better pick up Wi-Fi and studying a software solution that allows it to automatically reconnect in case of disconnection.

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