Consumers don’t yet have a strong enough reason to use connected home appliances, according to the chief executive of Beko’s parent company, Arçelik AS.
Speaking at the Beko press conference at IFA in Berlin, Hakan Bulgurlu said he was “a believer” in connected appliances, but added that there was “a lot of work to be done”.
He told delegates: “The connected home is obviously a very popular theme – China is leading the way, as Chinese consumers demand connected appliances. But when you ask people who’ve bought a connected appliance if they’ve actually connected it or not, trust me, almost none of them have. This is because there’s no real story – what is the consumer use case?”
Mr Bulgurlu added: “At Beko, we are spending all our energy on trying to understand how we can save people time or make things much easier for them. The way I believe connected appliances will work is, for example, if your washing machine filter is getting clogged, a sensor will send us a message and will send someone to pre-emptively service it, so it doesn’t break down.”
He also cited another example of a dryer knowing what laundry is in a washing machine so it will automatically do the drying for you – the user won’t have to control it.
Asked what consumers wanted from a smart home, Mr Bulgurlu said: “They want it to be secure – what they don’t want is for their appliances to be hacked. For us, that’s the number-one priority.
“I think people will want to see what their appliance is doing remotely and they’ll want to use it when energy costs are low – that kind of use case is coming and that’s what we’re focusing on at Beko.”