Connected kitchen dead on arrival (so far)

Connected kitchen is a total miss, according to accomplished cook

So far the connected kitchen has consisted of appliances with fewer physical controls, augmented with Bluetooth and an app. Wired’s Joe Ray states that the problem with smart kitchen gadgets is that they don’t cater to cook’s needs for instant and constant adjustment. The kitchen, he says, is a place where creativity and craftsmanship trump algorithms and automation.

dis-rup-shun: Just automating existing devices is an unfortunate temptation by device makers. Adding highly valued non-existent functionality to kitchen devices is the path to value and customer delight. Device makers should focus on millennials and Gen Xers who have not yet developed kitchen skills, redefining the tools and spaces required to create great food quickly. Companies should emulate the success of Peloton’s exercise bike and top instructor model to bring pros into the kitchen and to create a support network of millions of other novice cooks.

Peloton, to be valued at $8 billion, redefines the home exercise market

Peloton to go public this week to raise $1.16 billion, following $994 million raised through venture capital. The Peloton network has the support of 1.4 million members and a cult like following that has made its trainers celebrities. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: Peloton has done a fair job of creating attractive and adequate quality stationary bikes, but has nailed content production, combining strong, attractive personalities with great photography, music, and an interactive network of members. While the company is a long way from profitability, its platform is primed to sell products such as exercise apparel, supplements, other exercise machines, and even premium programming. Expect a very successful IPO and a long line of imitators.

Interlogix — long a provider of basic home security — quits

Interlogix, purchased by UTC from GE, will cease operations by the end of this year. The company that had 11% of the market only two years has lost its place in the market. Security

dis-rup-shun: The home security industry has forever been changed by sophisticated, well-price home automation, and by DIY products that promise peace of mind. With somewhere around 75% of U.S. households without security, the opportunity for low cost, high functioning devices to win a share of the space is increasing. While many channels are pursuing this opportunity, it is clear that security and home automation are inextricable, and companies such as Interlogix who are not leaders in AI and home automation have no place in new security households.

Apple cuts corners on charger for iPhone 11

The iPhone 11 is far less expensive than the Pro or Pro Max, which arrive this Friday. The low priced iPhone, however, ships with a 5 watt charger, rather than the 18 watt charger included with the more expensive units. With an after market 18 watt charger, at the cost of $50 (charger and cable), the iPhone 11 can fully charge in slightly over an hour, an important feature new to the 11 family. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Fast charging is highly valued by consumers. Samsung took the lead on making wireless PowerShare a differentiating feature of the Galaxy S10. Apple will recoup a fair amount of revenues from those that decided to buy the low cost iPhone 11 after they buy Apple accessories — using a time honored tactic of offering lower end models and charging a premium for “dealer add-ons.” Expect to see more of these tactics with consumer electronics as many categories approach maturity.

3 thoughts on “Connected kitchen dead on arrival (so far)

  1. As you rightly highlight, the advantage of the connected kitchen will be that even I could cook a half decent meal! However, the benefits of connectivity are huge and manufacturers need to work out how they can pass some of these benefits to consumers. Data from appliances will reduce the cost of support with engineers knowing the parts they need before they visit. The same data will direct R&D investment to prevent the fault in the first place and this reduces the need to manufacture so many parts to support the products in the field throughout their natural life. Manufacturers have warehouses full of unused parts that were provisions on best guess when the initial production lines are running. The list of benefits goes on. Rather than bump up the cost of smart appliances, manufacturers needs to share the upside of data with the consumer if there is to be widespread adoption.

  2. Thanks Kevin — how do companies determine the monetary value of having the data that saves them from stocking extra, unnecessary spare parts, etc.?

  3. I’m guessing few appliance manufacturers have really worked through this so the answer at the moment is that they don’t have a feel for the monetary value. To date, they have focused on trying to promote the front-end benefits to consumers to try and drive adoption and fund the increased cost of adding connectivity.

    They have never had real time data on which they can model through-life costs and they are probably reluctant to take risk. In my opinion, they need to take a holistic view and start taking some measured risk in their business models. Done properly, I can’t see how they can lose out in a connected world. For example, they currently manufacture millions of machines that are distributed all over the world and many times they have niggly faults that incur huge support costs before the trend is spotted and a design change is introduced. In the UK and US there have been major product recalls costing 10’s of millions of £/$s for dryers that caught fire. The costs rack up because they can’t locate them. In a connected world, you will be able to track down every device quickly and you will instantly see fault trends and make design changes on the production line.

    The appliance manufacturers could look to the airline industry for the answers.

    Aircraft manufacturers led the way with connectivity and data collection. They constantly work to perfect their models because the cost of errors are high and the safety implication are so significant. The have become complete experts at reliability modelling and provisioning because it saves costs and makes them more competitive. Indeed, it completely changed their industry and instead of selling thing like aero engines to manufacturers, they leased them with a model called ‘power-by-the-hour’. It had so many benefits that event the military now lease things like engines rather than buy them.

    Does this sound like an opportunity for appliance manufactures? Lease appliances rather than sell 🙂

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