Consumers have spoken. About 30-percent of those surveyed would rather have smart controls to make their "old" appliances "smart", rather than paying extra to purchase "smart appliances".
This should not be a big surprise. Given the fact that these appliances are not cheap, and consumers aren't going to replace them unless they are broken.
On top of that, PCMag found in its survey, that 57-percent of respondents are not willing to spend more on a smart appliance, and instead would get another "dumb" appliance for their home. Seeing as smart appliances do typically cost more than their older-counterparts, that should not be a huge surprise.
Recently, smart home tech has become more integrated, and thus being pushed on everyone. For instance, smart home tech is now baked into a lot of smartphones with Google Assistant and/or Amazon Alexa. Which gets consumers interested and they start buying some smart home products. Until these smart appliances are pushed on consumers, they likely will not purchase them, until they absolutely have too. Similar to smartphones. Until companies stopped making flip phones, smartphones really didn't take off. It'll be similar for smart appliances.
When it comes to smart controls for old appliances, these are things that are already on the market. Smart plugs are able to control these older appliances, and they are often times a whole lot cheaper than the difference between an old and a smart appliance. These smart plugs are usually close to around $30, sometimes cheaper depending on the brand.
With smart plugs, users are able to control the appliance that is plugged in. That includes turning it off and on, scheduling it to turn on at a specific time and so forth. Some are even able to tell you how much energy it is using, allowing you to save some cash on your monthly electric bill.
Less of a non-surprise, is the fact that consumers want smart products that can take care of household chores. Around 17-percent want a smart clothes-folding product, and 17-percent for smart lawn equipment. That's followed by 15-percent for smart bed technology.
Of the other areas that were mentioned, smart lawn equipment is the closest to being "affordable" right now. You can get a robot lawn mower for under a grand, and it actually works pretty well. iRobot and LG are just two of (likely) many companies working on these robot lawn mowers. It's still early for that industry, but things are coming along pretty quickly.
Smart beds on the other hand, are still pretty expensive, and there's not a lot of buzz in that area. But a smart clothes-folding machine is actually a pretty popular product. In the past few CES trade shows, we've seen a number of them around. However, they are still pretty costly, with price tags in the tens of thousands of dollars. That means that it is still not all that practical for a lot of people, unfortunately. But that will change in due time, the only question is how long.