Smart appliance customers missing out on value, companies struggle with low connection rates.
The latest generation of smart appliances from companies like Whirlpool and LG come with Wi-Fi antennae, allowing them to be connected to the Internet and controlled with apps. However, manufacturers are only seeing 50% or fewer of their owners connecting their devices. This means they are missing out on services revenue and access to data and insights about how customers are using their products. LG found an increase in water filter sales when they tracked water volumes on connected fridges, and Whirlpool acquired the recipe management app Yummly to help customers more easily use their smart ovens.
There are potential privacy and security concerns for customers when connecting their smart appliances, as some companies have been found to be collecting data that could be used for advertisement targeting. This has led to calls from the White House for universal IoT security labeling to help keep customers safe. Despite these issues, appliance makers are still eager for buyers to connect their devices, as it allows them to access valuable data and services revenue.