Smart appliances “hype”
In terms of smart home applications, the biggest growth, both quantitatively and in percentage terms, is likely to be in smart appliances. In our earlier studies, BSRIA found that smart appliances, while much talked about, had yet to live up to the “hype”. There were arguably three main reasons for this.
The first was that smart appliances, such as cookers, washing machines or vacuum cleaners, were often not effectively integrated into a wider smart home. This is exemplified by the paradox that even manufacturers offering both smart appliances and smart building solutions often did not promote them in a coordinated way.
The second was that the value of some of the most obvious smart appliances, such as smart washing machines, depended on their being able to time-shift to take advantage of cheaper off-peak tariffs. That effectively required a smart meter. Progress in the installation of smart meters has been slowed by both logistical factors and security concerns.
However, the final barrier to smart appliances was possibly the most telling: the fact that a lot of the early ones were not really that useful, or at least not useful enough to justify the investment. Dishwashers that can automatically re-order tablets are addressing a problem that probably doesn’t feature in most people’s top 500 burning worries, and yet they were trumpeted at shows in a way one might expect a cure for a deadly disease to be greeted.