Isn't everyone in our industry talking about Smart kitchens and Smart appliances these days? Wow - the future really is now.
There's a refrigerator with three built-in cameras that communicates with you via an app on your phone. When you’re at the market, you can look in your fridge to see if you need milk. Read more about it here.
There’s an entire family of GE appliances whose functions can be controlled remotely using a smart phone app. Read more about it here.
GE has also partnered with Amazon to provide voice control (using WiFi) to refrigerators, ovens, water heaters, washers, dryers and dishwashers. Read more about it here.
All these capabilities are cool and all, but is anyone really using this technology in their real lives? Our friends at Houzz surveyed 1000 homeowners who were in the process of renovating or who had recently completed a home renovation project concerning their feelings about Smart technology in their homes. The results were summarized in the November 2016 KBDN.
CEDIA, the trade association for those companies that design, manufacture and install technology for the home, teamed up with Houzz for this survey. What they discovered is that 45% of the 1000 surveyed are integrating smart features into their projects, despite difficulty finding the right smart products.
For purposes of the survey “Smart” technology is defined as systems or devices that can be monitored or controlled via smart phone, tablet or computer. This most certainly includes Smart appliances for kitchens. Homeowners who participated in the survey indicated they considered the following technologies for their homes. The percentages noted show survey results.
Security / safety – 25%
Entertainment – 18%
Climate control – 14%
Lighting – 12
The top challenges renovating homeowners face when it comes to incorporating smart home features are (1) educating themselves about available options and (2) finding the right products/technology
Over half of renovating homeowners chose not to add smart technologies during their renovation projects. One-third gave the technologies some consideration but ultimately decided not to go the smart-tech route due to lack of interest (37%), cost concerns (31%), or privacy concerns (23%). These numbers prove we’re not quite there yet in terms of acceptance, but at this time next year, we predict these numbers will be much lower as people embrace Smart tech.
Why do we in the kitchen design business need this information? Because increasingly, kitchen appliances are “smart” appliances, and our customers are going to be asking us about them. Because LED lighting systems for the kitchen are now “smart” and controlled via phone. Because entertainment systems built in during renovation are “smart” and controlled via phone. Because refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, hot water heaters, and home heating systems are “smart” and controlled via phone. This is only the beginning. Staying abreast of current technologies and being prepared to answer inevitable questions from clients will ensure you remain competitive with others in our field who know how to program the refrigerator.