In 2018, 89 million connected major home appliances are forecast to be shipped globally, up from 51 million in 2017. Despite initial lackluster enthusiasm from consumers, by the end of this year one out of every six major home appliances shipped globally will include internet-connectivity features. Growth will be led by sales of connected room air conditioners, which enable consumers to control and manage appliances remotely-- a fast-growing market trend,
Although designing useful and engaging experiences for the consumer, beyond basic functions, has been an ongoing struggle for appliance manufacturers, there were many advancements in 2018. Appliance makers are also becoming more agile, as they embrace IoT concepts. Many of these advancements have focused on the kitchen, where cooking appliances and refrigerators are simplifying the cooking process. In addition, many of the guided experiences offered by leading manufacturers to aid food storage include deep integrations with recipes, local grocery stores and camera analytics.
Appliances will soon play a larger role in the overall smart home market, rather than being a siloed segment. This evolution could include the ability of all appliances produced by one company to be controllable through a single mobile app, or by linking major appliances with energy companies to monitor energy use, or leveraging local battery storage from solar panels to incur cost savings.
When it comes to convincing consumers to connect appliances to the internet, many hurdles still remain. However, as connected appliances become more mainstream and prices fall, and as manufacturers develop use cases on-par with consumer struggles, it won’t be long before almost every household has at least one appliance that can be controlled from a home computer or mobile device.