Haier
Eric Braganza
President,
Haier Appliances India Pvt. Ltd.

Future-ready home appliances transforming homes in the new normal

The outbreak of coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on the economy across sectors all around the globe–forcing brands to adopt new strategies to stay competitive. However, the pandemic has also created an opportunity for new and innovative products to make the lives of consumers easier in these hard times. Brands are striving to launch products powered by new-age technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and voice/speech recognition to reduce human-to-human contact and reduce the need to touch in the times of social distancing.

Moreover, with people staying indoors and working from their homes, the need for smart home products has increased. Indian consumers have started investing on smart consumer durables to enable them to multitask better. In the new normal, everyone is trying to cut down contact with strangers or with items/exposed surfaces that are touched by several people to avoid the possibility of catching the infection. There are few items like switches and remote controls that everyone ends up touching multiple times in a day, despite the fear of contracting the virus. Hence, consumers are increasingly looking at transforming their lifestyle and their homes by adopting new-age products for their convenience and safety.

At Haier, we believe that with new-age technologies like AI and the IoT gaining ground rapidly, the use of products powered by these technologies has also started increasing. The new-age technologies are changing the way we interact, consume information and acquire goods and services. The home appliances industry is no exception to this new disruption. In our sector, the impact of AI, IoT, and other technologies through natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML), is revolutionizing the homes of today. The ongoing pandemic is proving to be part of the additional impetus and opportunity for voice control in home appliances to promote knowledge and adoption for a variety of additional smart home devices and apps.

Now with the increasing advent of AI and IoT in home appliances, the voice-controlled electronics have phenomenally reduced the need to touch surfaces in people’s households. The electronics include televisions, thermostats, speakers, and more. Many of these technology-infused products are also leveraged by people for shopping online. As COVID-19 can spread among humans through commonly touched surfaces, this potentially is minimizing the virus’ effect.

The accessibility and the increasing cost-effectiveness of new-age products has given birth to a modern consumer, a more tech-friendly prospective buyer, who wants to interact with their smart homes, languishing in the comfort, convenience and security it offers.

We are witnessing consumers opting for larger refrigerators, fully automatic washing machines, air-purifiers, smart ACs, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, etc. With OTT platforms becoming the one stop source of entertainment for consumers, another category that has seen a surge of sales is the large-sized TV panels. These new innovations in the consumer durables space uplift the consumers’ lifestyle and to make them enjoy the benefits of a connected world.

The home appliances industry has ushered in an era of new technologies where customers are always looking for products that provide a connected and a holistic new-age experience. At Haier, we are committed toward delivering products that seamlessly align with our motto of Inspired Living and add convenience to the everyday lives of users.

In these unforeseen times, it is becoming more and more evident that brands need to re-calibrate or re-invent its products, services, and communications in the post-COVID world. We need to review, update, and quickly adapt to make sure we remain relevant to our customers, wherever needed. The COVID-19 crisis has indeed given us an opportunity to revalue, innovate, and transform.

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