Smart appliances: less than half of devices are ultimately connected by customers
Is the connected kitchen only a dream of nerd ? Fridges, washing machines, ovens… Manufacturers are competing with each other when it comes to connecting devices commonly used in the home. However, consumers do not seem to respond with the same enthusiasm to this deluge of innovations. Many households do not or no longer connect household appliances, according to the latest figures from LG Electronics communicated to the wall street journaland relayed in France by Le Figaro.
Specifically, LG claims that less than half of the smart devices on the market are connected to the Internet. For its part, Whirlpool indicates that a majority of its devices are connected, without revealing precise figures. “The consumer does not understand the value manufacturers place on this data and how it can help them in the long run. So they don’t really want to spend time connecting them“, analyzes Henry Kim, American director of ThinQ, a platform of the LG group.
Moving, changing operator, changing the wifi password… Smart household appliances are often first connected by consumers before being disconnected. At LG, 80-90% of devices sold have smart features.
Solutions under study
If the connection of the device seems interesting primarily for the user, it is also so for the company. Faced with a sharp rise in the price of raw materials and against a backdrop of instability in the global economy, manufacturers are indeed seeking to diversify their sources of income.
Subscriptions to recipes or smart services are often offered. At the same time, users can sometimes check the proper functioning of their products. This is the case of connected LG refrigerators, which can notify the user when it is time to change the filter. The brand has seen an increase in filter sales among customers with products connected to the Internet.
Finally, to reduce the share of smart household appliances not connected to the Internet, manufacturers are relying on education. The usefulness of the technology is further promoted, encouraging consumers to connect their device. The two manufacturers are also working on software solutions capable of reconnecting their products independently. Finally, Whirlpool is developing larger wifi antennas for homes where the connection is weak. For its part, LG would have mentioned the possibility of implanting cellular chips capable of capturing the GSM network, but the option would still be too expensive to be generalized.