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Domestic Appliance News

Beko Unconnected
Beko Unconnected
What Happened At IFA
What Happened At IFA
Calls For Recall System
Calls For Recall System
Beko Unconnected

Beko's CEO reckons that people don't have a strong enough reason to use connected appliances.

Beko appliances not connected yetSpeaking at IFA where most other manufacturers seem to have been droning on about the "connected future", Hakan Bulgurlu said he was “a believer” in connected appliances, but also stated that there was “a lot of work to be done”.

He said; “The connected home is obviously a very popular theme – China is leading the way, as Chinese consumers demand connected appliances. But when you ask people who’ve bought a connected appliance if they’ve actually connected it or not, trust me, almost none of them have. This is because there’s no real story – what is the consumer use case?”

“At Beko, we are spending all our energy on trying to understand how we can save people time or make things much easier for them. The way I believe connected appliances will work is, for example, if your washing machine filter is getting clogged, a sensor will send us a message and will send someone to pre-emptively service it, so it doesn’t break down.”

He also cited another example of a dryer knowing what laundry is in a washing machine so it will automatically do the drying for you – the user won’t have to control it. But what we want to know is, how does the load get from the washing machine into the dryer? Or is this just for washer dryers?

Asked what consumers wanted from a smart home he said: “They want it to be secure – what they don’t want is for their appliances to be hacked. For us, that’s the number-one priority.

“I think people will remotely want to see what their appliance is doing and they’ll want to use it when energy costs are low – that kind of use case is coming and that’s what we’re focusing on at Beko.”

At least one manufacturer appears to be taking security seriously as most don't seem to bothered about it.

Now, if they can just get past the fact that most use cases are bunkum, get around the obsolescence through software being abandoned and get people to care, then maybe connected appliances might all go swimmingly.

But we doubt it.

What Happened At IFA

It’s that time of the year when a good chunk o the appliance industry shuffles off to Germany to display all their latest models and tech to the trade so, what’s going on in 2017/18?

The answer is, a we suspected as we didn’t bother going again this year, not much.

From what we’ve seen it’s all been about connected appliances, some of them just totally off the wall whacky!

LG

Still trying to sell people on the idea of their “styler” thing that nobody asked for but, we got anyway. It’s okay we guess, if you have space and money to spare to waste on something that seems to be next to useless.

lg styler

Oh and their “Twin Wash” system where you get a baby washing machine slung under a normal one.

Or, you could instead just buy a compact washer.

Either of these will set you back £1500 or more.

Samsung

Not to be outdone and, even with their boss currently detained by Korean authorities on bribery and corruption charges Samsung plate the “connected” card, everywhere.

samsung weird washing machine

And that’d be fine but they also tend to obsolete parts pretty early and we’re quite sure that the people buying into this and, investing ton of cash, wont’ be too pleased about not being able to repair it a few years down the road.

But they’ve come up with the zany idea of seating the drum and backplate to create a contrasting movement that increases agitation and cleans clothes better.

Perhaps we should send Samsung a copy of the HLCC guidelines about agitation heels as we’d bet their new cycles wont’ be HLCC approved which means, they might wreck some garments.

Good one Sammy!

The see-through show machine is pretty though don’t you think.

Other than that Samsung were just punting the same old, same old, Add A Wash and so on.

Panasonic

Rumours are that they’ve stopped washing machine s in the EU.

They had a clothes folding robot though.

That’s ten years away (at least) and will likely cost a fortune.

Candy Hoover

And Candy has… an oven with a screen on the door… ta da!

candy connected oven

Now let’s take a step back here and think.. electronics… high heat… steam… rough environment?

No, it’s really not a good idea.

But just look at how much oven space it eats up, seriously, you might be able to bake a couple of muffins in there but you sure ain’t going to be on the Great British Bake off anytime soon!

Miele

Miele have an oven that is a microwave that isn’t a microwave!

Miele stealth oven

At last, something that’s actually new as it uses radio waves (seriously, we’re not joking) to cook for that Miele promise will be perfect every time but then, Miele would say that.

Don’t get too exited just yet though as it’s not to be launched yet that we can see and with an expected price of about £7-8000 we don’t think there will be a queue to buy one either.

Bosch

Bosch meanwhile made a bit of a fuss over their new X-Spect thing.

Okay so this is a bit new (sorta) and a bit of a departure from Bosch as it's not an appliance but a device like a barcode scanner that you hold up to stains, it scans them and tells people how to sort those out.

bosch x spect

Now we are old fashioned here in some regards but, why would anyone need this? Or, let's put that more accurately, why would anyone pay for it? After all, how long will be be before some bright spark invents a phone app that does much the same thing?

All questions we thought of and Bosch has an answer as it says this thing will also be able to scan food so you know your peaches are ripe and so on. Or scan a barcode and set your oven up to cook stuff, so long as you've got aBosch, Neff or Siemens one at least!

We get it. We think it plumbs new depths of human laziness or perhaps stupidity but, we get it.

But the crucial thing here is the price as, if this thing costs more than a fairly disposable gadget, we doubt anyone will buy it.

Round Up

So that’s pretty much all the big news from IFA this year, such as it is and as we bang on about all the time, yet again, not really any moves forward really.

Sure, control systems, platforms and probably a bunch of other stuff that people that actually buy these things care little about but apart from that, very little to no real innovation.

And, from what we've seen here, about the most justifiable reason for flying to Berlin would be to get some Currywurst!

Calls For Recall System

The LFB (London Fire Brigade) have called on government to do something about improving the current recall system which is, pretty shambolic in truth and we wouldn't disagree with that but just how much truth is there and what do we do?

Before you read any further, we know we're not following the media herd here and we know that our view might not be the populist one but, it is fact and evidence based and not merely news published to fill space or grab attention. What we like to deal with are facts and realities.

The fire service said it was "extremely concerned" that despite a review into the UK's product recall system being launched in 2014 and several fatal fires, "no substantial changes" have been made.

But just what changes are to be made?

If a "DVLA" type system were to be created it would cost taxpayers untold tens of millions of pounds to set up and operate and that cost would fall on consumers one way or another, irrespective of how it was done. In fact, we doubt anyone has any clue what the bill could potentially be and, that's before we even look at what such a system was even to cover!

We'd reckon that would also require legislative change as well as retailers or even consumers would require to be forced by law to register all new sales and perhaps even ownership changes or moving home with appliances etc. We can't see such a move being popular at all as penalties for not doing so would also need to be sanctioned.

The letter says; "A year on people across the UK are still using white goods that pose a serious fire risk and are subject to recall or corrective action.

"Worse still, some fridges and freezers are still being produced with a flammable plastic backing, which offers very little protection against the insulation foam inside catching alight if a fire starts.

"We are deeply concerned that, a year after Shepherds Court, decisive action is still needed to improve product recalls and manufacturing standards for white goods in the UK."

Excluding the Grenfell death toll, which is yet to be finalised, there have been nine fire deaths and 298 injuries from fires involving white goods in London, the Brigade said.

And yet to date there is absolutely no evidence to say that the Grenfell Tower fire was caused by a fault on the fridge freezer at all, we won't know what the cause was until the investigation and inquest is completed. It is suspected perhaps, alleged most certainly but not proven as yet.

We also do not think that plastic backing on refrigeration is a real problem as, after all, something has to ignite it and that' got to be pretty severe before it does catch from what we've seen.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan weighed in on the topic as well saying that the Government's delay in implementing the LFB's recommendations was "inexcusable".

Khan said: "The terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower in June is a stark reminder of just how devastating a fire caused by faulty white goods can be.

"Now, a year since the tragic fire in Shepherd's Bush which led to these important recommendations, the Government and manufacturers must urgently act to help prevent any further tragedies and keep Londoners safe.

Even although there's currently no evidence or proof to support the assertion that the fire was caused by any appliance at this stage!

Political capital or grandstanding in the wake of what is a terrible tragedy? You decide.

Of course the media feeding frenzy around this is phenomenal with it making a great story, the poor people suffering and the big bad villain in the form of appliance makers.

We would not disagree that appliance makers have their failings as do we all but, are they really at fault here?

Just this week evidence in another ongoing inquest into two deaths from a supposed tumble dryer fire has indicated that the dryer was off and not powered at the time of the fire. A fire in which the dryer has been categorically blamed for the incident.

But these things take time to investigate, to get to the bottom of and understand the actual cause, not the alleged one.

Yet we've heard many saying that the LFB have said there's hundreds of fire incidents with appliances every year and, that's true

But…

What we have are fire incident reports and those could be a false alarms, could be a burning pan, grill pan fire, belt smoking, burnt out mains filter, dust… whatever. The point is we have often got not a clue why the fire services were called only that they were and that it related to X, Y or Z product or reason.

Just in the same way we see media stories all the time about this sort of thing but, hardly ever any follow up on what the actual cause was, what make and model it was or much of any real information really.

But it seems at times that where the press etc get a hold of these numbers they’re often on it like a rash, even though the backing for some of the claims being made is flaky to downright dodgy.

We are not saying that it's all sweetness and light nor are we saying that people should not be aware of using appliances wrongly or anything else. What we are saying is very simple really, don't' trust everything you see or read as it may well turn out not to be quite as is being presented.

And when government gets right down to it and sees how small an issue this probably is, do you think that they will throw tens of millions of taxpayers money at it?

More likley, if anything at all is done, there will be a "Recall Tax" added at point of sale and everything people buy will be subject to that charge.

Even then, will we really be any safer?