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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Electrolux Has New Stab at Smart Home After Dot-Com Bust

Electrolux AB is revisiting dot-com era attempts to build an intelligent home around its appliances as the likes of Apple Inc. and Google Inc. ramp up their offerings in the field.

This year, the Swedish company will start selling an oven that downloads instructions on how your roast should be cooked from a recipe app. It films the job too, so home chefs can keep one eye on the process on a screen while entertaining guests.

Jan Brockmann, chief operations officer at Electrolux, said 2015 may be the year when appliances finally get smart after decades of false starts. He’s predicting they’ll make up 10 percent of the market in five years’ time, from less than 1 percent today.

“This is a year of massive launches,” he said about the market in an interview at the company’s Stockholm headquarters. “That will really create volume and value.”

The connection of appliances through data networks could realize a vision of automated homes that’s been around since the 1950s without really taking the step from prototypes and science fiction visions to readily available consumer products.

Households never really understood the benefits of a smart home or a connected appliance, said Michael Wolf, a Seattle-based industry analyst at NextMarket Insights and author of newsletter Smart Home Weekly. While some products will just add networking and connectivity for “technology’s sake,” prices are falling and software is improving to the point where tangible value can be delivered, he said.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-11/electrolux-has-new-stab-at-smart-home-after-dot-com-bust

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