Smart appliances need time and awareness to flourish

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Despite limited interest and limited availability, smart appliances will play an increasingly important role in the smart grid as utilities worldwide deploy smart meters.

According to Pike Research, smart appliances will represent a growing share of the total appliance market after 2015 with the annual market value increasing from $613 million in 2012 to $34.9 billion in 2020.

"In order for this market to flourish, there needs to be a wider selection of appliances by type, by brand, and by price range," said Pike Senior Research Analyst Bob Lockhart. "In addition, it will take time and education to bring smart appliance awareness and interest to the forefront of consumers' minds."

In the meantime, smart plugs -- act as sensors for conventional appliances and electronic devices, enabling consumers to track electricity usage by the outlet -- could serve as a bridge to the greater awareness of smart appliances, according to the research.

Pike contends that while the number of smart appliances remains low, and prices of available models remain high, smart plugs may be able to provide consumers with a way to save money on energy bills while familiarizing themselves with smart household technology and its benefits.

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