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Smart Appliances: To Connect or Not?

By February 28, 2023March 6th, 2023No Comments
Smart Appliances

Smart appliances are all the rage right now. How great is to be able fire up an appliance or take a peek inside your fridge when you are the grocery store? While the smart feature is what draws a lot of people to buying the appliance, once they get it installed, would it surprise you to find out that about half or more of consumers never bother to set up the “smart” features on the appliance?

Henry Kim, US director of LG’s smart device division ThinQ, stated, “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 for spending time to just connect it.”

LG, with almost 90 percent of its overall sold appliances being smart appliances, sees lees than 50 percent of them stay connected. Whirlpool reported that more than half are disconnected. The reasons for this are numerous, as they often find people do set them up, but after they become disconnected, they just do not bother to reconnect the device.

In today’s day and age, everyone is worried about their data being stolen, which Kim says is not an issue here. For instance, Whirlpool offers the user the option to opt out of data share. LG does not offer that option, but “all data is anonymized,” so you should not have to worry about any data breaches.

The issue here really is the benefit. For the company, the benefits are immeasurable, as they are able to gather operational data in real time. They are also able to monitor your particular appliance and recommend service calls at the appropriate time. That also happens to be an income driver for the company, which is a big reason they want their smart appliances connected when they are in homes.

This is all going to be a matter of preference for the user. Yes, there are significant benefits on both sides if the device is connected and if you are a gadget enthusiast like myself, you want to take advantage of that. However, the appliance still works if it is not connected, but I would have to wonder why pay the extra money for the smart appliance if you are going to use all the features if offers.