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Review Edition - IFA International

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News Biggest Opportunity

News Biggest Opportunity in History for Smart Household Appliances Brands can lock in consumers long term with right investments in technology The home electronic appliance market is at arguably the most exciting moment in its history. If it grasps the opportunity to invest in the right technology and develop the smart connected appliances that consumers are increasingly going to want, then it could see unprecedented levels of growth in the next five years. That was the challenge thrown down at IFA by Dinesh Kithany, senior analyst for home appliances at IHS Technology, the leading electronic intelligence and forecasting body. Not only does IHS Technology predict the global market for smart connected household appliances to boom from 1m units sold in 2014 to 223m units by 2020, the big brands in that market have the opportunity to lock in consumers to their brands for the long term. If the smart household category is widened out from kitchen goods, including fridges, washing machines, refrigerators and ovens to all connected household appliances, like coffee machines, robotic vacuums and electric toothbrushes, then the market could stretch to 700m appliances by 2020. helping the consumer understand how to use the machine in the most effective way possible. Kithany, though, says it is vital that every appliance company stops seeing itself as manufacturers, but technology experts. “They have to think like a technology company. That is the future,” he claimed. Businesses that are primed to listen to their consumers, and pick out the type of smart functionality that will make their customers’ lives easier and more efficient will see that investment returned with their loyalty and willingness to invest in future upgrades and appliances. “Consumers are so much more tech savvy than they were 10 years ago with the high adoption levels of the smartphone and much wider access to the internet,” stressed Kithany. “But mobiles have a lifespan of about two to three years. A household appliance will last for 10 years or more so they have to have the confidence that the technology they invest in will be still be relevant 10 years later.” It is not just the technical challenge that home appliance companies have to overcome, said Kithany. They need to convince consumers to buy in to connected machines from the same brand rather than shop across the category. They must assure them that any data they share with their connected appliances will be handled securely, and prove the added functionality in their appliances will not result in higher energy costs. Simply investing in new smart technology is not the answer on its own, added Kithany. “It has to have functionality that works and engages with consumers,” he said. “Smart means knowing the type of fabric you have put in the washing machine and changing the wash cycle and water temperature for maximum energy efficiency,” explained Kithany. Dinesh Kithany senior analyst for home appliances at IHS Technology “It means helping the consumer understand how to use the machine in the most effective way possible. It means putting the air conditioning on 20 minutes before you arrive home so that the house is at the right temperature when you open the door,” he said. The big drop in cost in implementing smart technology, from about a machine to around a unit, has also opened the door for the connected home appliance market, stressed Kithany. “The drop in price has helped companies who were previously sitting on the fence to make the necessary investment. Companies now don’t want to miss out and lose market share.” The market is now truly open and Kithany predicts we will see more Asian companies developing products for the US and western markets, and more western companies doing the same in Asia. “The east is going west and the west is going east,” he said. The appliance companies that succeed in the future will be the ones that understand how to engage and educate consumers, he added. “But it has be 360 degree communications including the appliance companies, the retailers, and the government in terms of explaining energy and efficiency labelling,” explained Kithany. The big advantage for those companies that succeed in making the right connected machines, is that upgrades can be simply plugged in to existing devices therefore keeping customers’ loyal and potentially happy to stay with the brand long term. 12

News Hisense Smartens Up The Home Connected appliances bring home management to users’ fingertips Whether in the living room, kitchen or bedroom, Hisense Smart Home gives users control over a variety of appliances and vital home security functions via their mobile device. Adjust the colour of the living room to set the mood for watching a movie, explore the contents of a smart refrigerator, monitor home security remotely, and adjust the air conditioner effortlessly using the Hisense Smart Home mobile application via wifi, Bluetooth and ZigBee. Hisense Smart Home uses a smart router as a central control hub for all connected devices that operate via a unique and user-friendly mobile application. When a user wants to enjoy some home cinema, for example, they can activate “Movie Mode” on their portable device and the rooms lights adjust automatically to complement the content of the movie for a more immersive cinematic experience. In addition to home entertainment and lights, an intelligent Hisense kitchen of the future can also be controlled via the mobile app. Users can access the smart refrigerator’s food management system to organise its contents; while fridge temperature settings can also be adjusted. Hisense Smart Home also takes care of home safety via a range of smart smoke detectors. The detectors are installed in every room and send information about potential fires and emergencies directly to the users’ mobile device. At night, or when nobody is at home, infrared detectors can be activated to monitor windows and doors for added security - live video stream via a camera installed in the room can also be activated. LG Plans to Quintuple OLED Sales Korean giant focuses on innovating in premium TV market Speaking at a roundtable at IFA 2015 in Berlin, a top official of LG Electronics revealed the company’s plan to sell five times as many OLED TVs as it did in the first half with the aim of making LG OLED the new standard of TV by the end of the year. With a goal of selling more than one LG OLED TV per minute, Brian Kwon, executive a goal of selling more than one LG OLED TV per minute vice president and CEO of LG’s Home Entertainment Company, cited four overarching marketing directions designed to solidify LG’s leadership role in the home entertainment market: 1. leading the global OLED TV Market with an expanded OLED TV lineup, 2. conducting enhanced marketing campaigns to expand OLED TV’s market penetration, 3. strengthening its dominant position in the smart TV platform business and 4. enhancing profitability in the audio video product segment. EXPANDED OLED TV LINE-UP With the world’s first high dynamic range (HDR)-enabled 4K OLED TV, LG will incorporate HDR technology in more of its OLED TV line-up. Its 4K OLED TV is expected to attract new customers with its impressive design, which measures only 4.8mm at its slimmest point. With a host of new functions, design features and display formats, LG will provide a wider selection of OLED TVs to suit the tastes of different customers. LG is confident that the announcement of OLED TV products from other manufacturers will accelerate the adoption of OLED TV by more and more consumers and expand the segment within the TV market. ENHANCED MARKETING CAMPAIGNS The company will invest in a variety of marketing campaigns to increase international sales of its OLED TVs with product introduction tours and OLED displays at major airports in the world. LG is confident that strong reviews of LG OLED TVs from product testing organizations and media outlets will drive more interest in consumers. STRENGTHENING SMART TV PLATFORM BUSINESS LG will continue to expand its webOS platform with more smart TV content from partners such as Netflix and YouTube, movies from local content suppliers and a range of new applications. The company will kick off an HDR content streaming service for webOS 2.0-enabled smart TV users in partnership with Amazon and roll out its Value Pack Upgrade for webOS 1.0 users which includes free features available in webOS 2.0. www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday 21 st September 2015 13

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