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JorgeA

You don't say...

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Smart Refrigerators: The Value Proposition Isn't Apparent Yet
 

Quote

This fridge is but one in a growing list of appliances that will be collecting data about what you're consuming and how often you're consuming it.

[...]

I don't know about you all, but if I'm going to be the product here, shouldn't I get a cut of the profits? At this point, smart fridges will cost a consumer thousands of dollars -- the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator is going for $6000 -- and then create a second revenue stream via data generation and sales. What an elegant way to keep wringing money out of a customer base.

If I'm going to create a continuous stream of data that's repackaged and sold to companies that will then try to manipulate me into spending more money (or to insurance companies that will hike up my premiums if they decide I'm buying heavy cream too often), what's in it for me? 

And that's the question that smart fridges have yet to answer: What is their value proposition for consumers? Is the problem that they solve actually worth the price of the appliance, the app lock-in and the perpetual flow of data you can neither control nor monetize for yourself?

Good questions all.

This is a cool application that I could jump on wholeheartedly if the information were to live exclusively on my own devices, instead of being sent to other people's servers. That should not be so difficult to accomplish. In the fridge scenario, for instance, you could use NFC technology to transfer your refrigerator's findings directly to your phone, which would then draw up a list of what you need to buy today. No need to get Microsoft's or Apple's or Samsung's servers involved.

Otherwise, my reaction to this sort of thing is MYOFB.  :thumbdown

--JorgeA

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Yeah, well... Picture on your mind how miserable a smart fridge might make your life:
You get home tired and find out there's no cold beer because the fridge got *offended* at something you did or told it.
Or worse... at something you failed to do or say it, like, for instance, "Good morning, Your Coldness, how are you today?"...
No. Definitely it's too much, nobody deserves that, ever! :wacko:

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Rather 'your fridge was compromised, due to Android updates support lifecycle ~half a year after release of a device'.

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Right now a fridge has five things that may break:

1) the motor starter <- it happens more often than not
2) the thermostat
3) the lamp inside
4) the motor
5) the gas that needs to be recharged

I can fix/replace myself the first 3 and I need to call a single specialist for the last 2, but even if you are not of the DIY kind, the same specialist is of course able to fix all issues for you in no or little time.

We even have a name for that person in italian "frigorista" (while English that is a more efficient language uses "refrigerator repairman", I believe), the guys I know that do that are more or less a cross-breed between an electrician and a plumber, with looks not completely unlike the ones made famous by Mario Bro's, including the overalls.

Even if we all "digitally evolved", very likely when your stupid fridge will BSOD (or equivalent), those nice guys won't be able to fix it, and you will need to call a software or a hardware engineer to reset/reformat/update/whatever its embedded computer (or you will need to get a new one, of course loosing ALL your recipes, historical buying records, etc.).

I too cannot see their value propositions for the customer...

jaclaz

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On 9/11/2016 at 6:20 AM, jaclaz said:

Even if we all "digitally evolved", very likely when your stupid fridge will BSOD (or equivalent), those nice guys won't be able to fix it, and you will need to call a software or a hardware engineer to reset/reformat/update/whatever its embedded computer (or you will need to get a new one, of course loosing ALL your recipes, historical buying records, etc.).

I too cannot see their value propositions for the customer...

Just now, Mcinwwl said:

Well I can imagine one carrying his Dumb Fridge to some cellphone repair spot to get it's Andie fixed or some hardware replaced ;)

The trend is definitely to move away from user-serviceability.  What we'll end up with are refrigerator repairmen with specializations, which will charge extra for their services because they require "specialized training."  The field of medicine is a great example of this.  Costs here in the US have ballooned so much that you need insurance to get treatment for the simplest of maladies.  Can't afford it otherwise.

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On Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 6:20 AM, jaclaz said:

Right now a fridge has five things that may break:

1) the motor starter <- it happens more often than not
2) the thermostat
3) the lamp inside
4) the motor
5) the gas that needs to be recharged

I can fix/replace myself the first 3 and I need to call a single specialist for the last 2, but even if you are not of the DIY kind, the same specialist is of course able to fix all issues for you in no or little time.

All very well put, including the parts I didn't quote.

What you said jibes with my view of it, which is that the fancy electronics are simply that much more that can break. Now of course you don't need the inside camera or the outside monitor screen for the fridge to keep performing its most important functions, but in that case it's fair to ask what, exactly, you as the customer paid that extra $4000 or $5000 for. :dubbio:

--JorgeA

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On Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 6:46 PM, dencorso said:

Yeah, well... Picture on your mind how miserable a smart fridge might make your life:
You get home tired and find out there's no cold beer because the fridge got *offended* at something you did or told it.
Or worse... at something you failed to do or say it, like, for instance, "Good morning, Your Coldness, how are you today?"...
No. Definitely it's too much, nobody deserves that, ever! :wacko:

This reminds me of an old (1985 or so) Sunday edition of the American comic strip "Ziggy." Ziggy wakes up one morning and turns on his computer, which starts nagging him about all sorts of things. "Did you brush you teeth today?! Did you remember to take out the garbage last night? You need to iron those clothes, you look a mess!!" That sort of thing... In the last panel, Ziggy turns to the reader and says, "I guess that's why they call it a personal computer!"

--JorgeA

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Just now, JorgeA said:

All very well put, including the parts I didn't quote.

What you said jibes with my view of it, which is that the fancy electronics are simply that much more that can break. Now of course you don't need the inside camera or the outside monitor screen for the fridge to keep performing its most important functions, but in that case it's fair to ask what, exactly, you as the customer paid that extra $4000 or $5000 for. :dubbio:

--JorgeA

Sure, but the real issue (as I see it) is the "interchangeability" of parts and "repairability" of the device (this does not apply to smart fridges only it is a general issue with *anything* nowadays).

See as an example what this (IMHO very brave, besides smart) nice guy from Mexico did to upgrade the SSD in his Surface Pro 3 :thumbup:

http://surfacepro3ssdupgrade.blogspot.it/2015/02/surface-pro-3-ssd-upgrade-i7-with-1-tb.html

Compare that experience with that of changing a disk (or SSD) on *any* desktop and on most "normal" laptops, it is clear to me how desktops are a more mature technology because when a part of it breaks it is easy (and relatively inexpensive) to replace the broken part, with laptops it has been already made much more difficult since years, tablets have made it impossible or very, very difficult/complex.

As another example - and as a matter of principle - I won't have a phone on which I cannot swap or replace batteries, I find it "immoral" :w00t: to create such devices. and profoundly wrong to give money for them to the people that create and sell such technology.

And - just for the record - I did change a few batteries on (of course out of warranty, but otherwise perfectly working) iPhones (old models, 3 and 4), it has been a terrible and terrifying experience :ph34r: comparable to - say - opening up and cleaning a mechanical watch, to a certain extent needing even more care and risking more to break something.


 

jaclaz


 


 

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Just now, jaclaz said:

And - just for the record - I did change a few batteries on (of course out of warranty, but otherwise perfectly working) iPhones (old models, 3 and 4), it has been a terrible and terrifying experience :ph34r:

You speak as if Apple were ever known for making their devices DYI freindly ;)

On 11.09.2016 at 0:20 PM, jaclaz said:

Even if we all "digitally evolved", very likely when your stupid fridge will BSOD (or equivalent), those nice guys won't be able to fix it, and you will need to call a software or a hardware engineer to reset/reformat/update/whatever its embedded computer (or you will need to get a new one, of course loosing ALL your recipes, historical buying records, etc.).

Well I can imagine one carrying his Dumb Fridge to some cellphone repair spot to get it's Andie fixed or some hardware replaced ;)

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