However you want to think of it, the great competition of the household appliance world will depend on how much the Smart Home will succeed in rooting into the global society (and, obviously in Italy, which for a too long time now– and in endless dossiers – has been the taillight in Europe).
According to a recent convention organized by Samsung District, in 2018 the Smart Home market in Italy scored the 52% growth in just one biennium, reaching 380 million Euros (survey by the Observatory Internet of Things, Milan Polytechnics). We might rejoice, if we could set aside that in the USA the turnover almost accounts for 14 billion Euros and in Germany it is slightly under 2 billions, too. Among the ascertained data, the fact the medium-high end range (then not exclusively premium) of household appliances is now fully “domotized” and, in spite of that, 42% of Italian users do not exploit smart functions. Especially, Smart Home speakers (Alexa, Google Home…) are the most successful items on the market but they have little to do with AI, since they are not self-learning.
However, when “smart” household appliances are at stake, it clearly emerges that the product most concerned by the phenomenon – and the most diffused among consumers, too – is the washing machine. This phenomenon would deserve a thorough analysis, considering that connectivity is not the main purchase driver. On the other hand, household appliances hold an appreciable fourth ranking in the market list of the Smart Home, at an almost double distance from Safety.
Observers underline that the connected device in itself scarcely matters for users, if solutions able to provide “new value services” have not been suitably implemented”.
The issue complexity, for industry, is also given by the fact the action cannot exclusively consist in the design of technologically innovative products. It becomes then essential to frame the dynamics of a constantly evolving market that deploys manifold complex elements: artificial intelligence, data development, services, interoperability, privacy and consumer prospect (as highlighted by Giulio Salvadori, Observatory manager).
The problems worth solving, to make the Smart Home really take off, are clearly enucleated by Daniele Grassi, vice-president of Samsung Italia (still in the convention mentioned at the beginning): even if connected products are numerous today, interaction among the various Brands does not exist. This is a big problem. Therefore, to enable the spreading of the “Connected House”, it is fundamental (as Grassi further affirms): it is easily configured, economically accessible, open, wireless, customizable and scalable.
Those who have understood it will hit the target because, fundamentally, innovating means anticipating (trends and making them usable), transforming (the possible into accessible reality), improving (the life quality).