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Smart appliance manufacturers delay market entry

Posted: 16 Dec 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smart appliance  grid  consumer electronics  CE 

IMS Research predicts early adopters of smart appliances to be the US then Canada and subsequently, Western Europe. By 2020, about 1 crore smart appliances will be installed in US households, IMS says.

The market watcher reports that GE has scheduled shipments of smart home appliances by end 2011 or early 2012 while other makers are taking a wait-and-see approach as smart grid standards stabilise.

GE is said to have designed its first wave of smart washers, dryers and refs to have a port to which a communication module may be inserted. This architecture, with external communication radios, allows GE to move forward with appliances that will be quickly, and fairly easily, modified to connect to the grid once the technology and communication standards are agreed upon.

Other appliance makers are acting more prudently, waiting for grid standards to stabilise before entering the market.

Analysts say the continued adoption of other peak-load management devices is a positive indicator for future growth of a smart appliance market. "Smart thermostats will lead the way for smart appliances, as a low-cost device that can shift a large per cent of residential energy usage with little investment and no change in utility pricing structures," explained Elizabeth Cruz, IMS reseach analyst.

IMS clarifies that it uses the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturer's definition of smart appliances: "a product which has the capability to receive, interpret and act on a signal received from a home energy management system, utility, or third party energy service provider, and automatically adjust its operation depending on the signal's contents and settings from the owner."

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