Appliance makers like Whirlpool and LG just can't understand. They added Wi-Fi antennae to their latest dishwashers, ovens, and refrigerators and built apps for them—and yet only 50 percent or fewer of their owners have connected them. What gives?
The issue, according to manufacturers, is that customers just don't know all the things a manufacturer can do if users connect the device that spins their clothes or keeps their food cold—things like "providing manufacturers with data and insights about how customers are using their products" and allowing companies to "send over-the-air updates" and "sell relevant replacement parts or subscription services."
“The challenge is that a consumer doesn’t see the true value that manufacturers see in terms of how that data can help them in the long run. So they don’t really care for spending time to just connect it,” Henry Kim, US director of LG's smart device division ThinQ, told the Journal.
Whirlpool told the Journal that customers "have the opportunity to opt in or opt out" of sharing data with the company. LG doesn't offer that option, but Kim told the Journal that "all data is anonymized."
While the manufacturers blame technical constraints, some customers may simply not want to provide companies with vague privacy policies or bad histories with security access to their networks.
Article by KEVIN PURDY
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