If you’ve been thinking about buying smart kitchen appliances, think again. According to surveys, most consumers are wary about outfitting their kitchen with refrigerators, ovens and other appliances that can connect to and be controlled via the Internet. Their reasons are valid, with concerns over privacy and pricing as the biggest inhibitors.
According to a January 2018 survey by Fluent LLC, kitchen appliances posted a low level of ownership (7 percent) among U.S. Internet users.
The low adoption rate may stem from a lack of understanding of the features and benefits of smart kitchen appliances. In a June 2018 YouGov poll, 62% of US consumers said they were aware of smart appliances (including thermostats, not just kitchen appliances) but didn’t really know much about them. This was more pronounced for those 35 and older (67%), while 52% of consumers ages 18 to 34 knew about smart appliances but didn’t fully understand them. Over one-quarter (26%) of that younger age group had awareness and claimed to know a lot about them. In all, just 9% of respondents across all age groups had not heard of smart appliances.
The biggest worry with smart appliances is cost: 31% of respondents ages 18 to 34 and 38% of those over 35 cited this as a concern. Being hacked and fears about data privacy had similar levels of concern, while practical matters like not being able to use them if there were problems connecting to the internet was also an issue.
On a more positive note, studies show that other types of home technology are resonating strongly with the American public. According to an analysis of online posts on social media, forums and comments by Crimson Hexagon, sentiment about smart-home technology is growing more positive. In 2010, 60% of conversations were positive; in 2017, that percentage hit 80%. The lighting category had the highest proportion of positive comments (93%), followed by entertainment (86%) and home assistants (85%). Security had the least amount of positive comments (77%).