Written by Nick Heer.

Smart Appliances From LG and Whirlpool Often Remain Disconnected From the Internet

Isabelle Bousquette, Wall Street Journal:

LG Electronics Inc. said that less than half of the smart appliances it has sold stay connected to the internet — a number it is actively working to increase, according to Henry Kim, the U.S. director of ThinQ, an LG platform primarily aimed at helping products leverage advanced technology.

Whirlpool Corp. said that more than half of its smart appliances remain connected, but the company declined to be more specific.

Amid pressure from weaker demand and rising materials costs, internet-connected appliances, including dishwashers and ovens that link to a customer’s home Wi-Fi network, could help manufacturers such as LG and Whirlpool recast what has traditionally been a one-time purchase business model into ongoing relationships with customers.

“Ongoing relationships” is a generous way to phrase what these companies would like to do with your credit card.

Via Charles Arthur, who writes:

I suspect some of those licences wouldn’t survive contact with the GDPR, it’s hard not to feel that this is just companies looking for upselling opportunities.

Bousquette cites leak detection capability, which Maytag apparently rolled out to its internet-connected washing machines. According to Maytag’s App Store listing page, that is not actually a built-in feature, but a way to connect the app to a third-party Wi-Fi connected leak detector from Resideo. Reviewers say Maytag’s smart services cost one dollar per month for which you get poor security practices, slow connectivity, bad VoiceOver compatibility, and frequent bugs. But if you get past all of those things, your washer can send you a notification when your load is finished.

Is there any wonder people are not falling head-over-heels for smart home devices and internet-connected appliances?