The future of IoT must be far more lively than we think.

Editor’s note: This article is from WeChat public account “Brain polar body” (ID: unity007) , author I am a panda, reproduced with permission.

Does the word home appliances make people feel a bit “earthy”?

Although we have never thought about this problem surrounded by various home appliances, obviously home appliance companies think so.

Since last year, there has been a quiet wave of “renaming” in the home appliance industry. First, Qingdao Haier was renamed “Haier Smart Home”, then Hisense Electric was renamed “Hisense Video”, and recently TCL Group was renamed “TCL Technology Group”.

Removing the label of “home appliances” and emphasizing the attributes of science and technology is obviously the main purpose of this collective change of name. This can’t help but make people think of the “metaphysics routine” that we are familiar with. If there is any uncertainty, the subject will change his name and say.

So are home appliances companies really only one name away from technology?

Science and technology of home appliance companies that have already emerged

The reason why those companies that depended on home appliances for profit in the first impression is that it is easy to understand why they are collectively moving towards the track of technology.

A very significant feature of the development of the home appliance industry is its high dependence on the “big environment.” In recent years, with the shed reform coming to an end, the urbanization development has gradually slowed down, and home appliances with low purchase frequency will naturally change under market performance. According to the “China Household Electrical Appliances Industry Report” issued by China Household Electrical Appliances Research Institute, the development environment of the household electrical appliance industry in the third quarter is more severe than in the first half. The domestic market sales were 174.5 billion yuan, down 4.2% year-on-year. Exports of 73 billion yuan continued to grow, but the growth rate narrowed to 1.7%.

Does home appliances companies

On demandAt the same time as changes occurred, home appliances also ran into an important technological upgrade-the IoT.

Household appliances are obviously an important part of the Internet of Everything scenario planned by technology manufacturers. Moreover, in the life scene, the main object of the “worthy unity” is home appliances. So from a few years ago, we began to see that while technology companies frequently extended olive branches to home appliance companies, the other side quietly began to sneak into the home appliance field, as are Xiaomi’s air-conditioning washing machines, Huawei and Honor’s smart screen.

Don’t forget, even though we think that home appliances are unremarkable today, but going back ten years, home appliance companies are also high-tech companies. The upstream of the home appliance industry chain is semiconductor manufacturing such as microelectronics and panels. In the development of these years, many home appliance industries have completed the acquisition reserve of the upstream industry chain. At the same time, the home appliances themselves have always been used as containers, carrying the updated iterations of technology. Technologies such as fuzzy control, which are close to intelligent concepts, are widely used in home appliances such as air conditioners and washing machines.

It seems that home appliances companies are not far away from technology. In fact, the enthusiasm of home appliance companies for cross-border technology has been very high. For the two waves of smart phones and smart speakers, home appliance companies such as Gree, Skyworth, and TCL have participated. It is not surprising that more steering wheels are turned at this moment today.

Three directions and three confusions

But aside from the slightly trendy behaviors of smart phones and smart speakers, the trajectory of home appliance companies moving closer to the technology sector can take 2019 as a dividing line.

Before 2019, in fact, many home appliance companies are making relevant attempts. There are roughly three directions.

The main thing, of course, is the change in the product itself.

Can home appliances companies

From about 2017, represented by Midea, Hisense and other manufacturers, various confusing “artificial intelligence refrigerators” and “artificial intelligence televisions” have begun to enter the market. The main reason for saying “confusing” is that the technology in this period is moreNew does not bring substantial changes to the product. Such as monitoring the freshness of the ingredients in the refrigerator through the built-in smart camera, or controlling the TV through the voice interaction of the remote control.

But even so, at this stage, relevant industry standards have gradually been determined. For example, in 2018, the China Electronics Chamber of Commerce (CECC), together with the China Electronics Technology Standardization Institute (CESI) and color TV-related companies jointly formulated the industry’s first “Artificial Intelligence Television Certification Technical Specification.” China’s first national standard for smart air conditioners, “Special requirements for intelligent technology air conditioners for smart home appliances,” was also released in mid-2019.

For industries with well-developed appliances and mature regulatory mechanisms, the formulation of industry standards is very important. The gradual clarification of standards can transform individual brand innovation into an overall update of the industry.

At the same time, the Internet of Things platform for home appliances.

It can be said that in the past few years when the concept of the Internet of Things has just been applied, appliance companies have more or less tried to establish their own Internet of Things platforms, or have been deeply tied to the Internet of Things cloud platform of technology companies. More typical are Haier’s U + and the beautiful Mercure. But at this stage, most of the so-called Internet of Things concepts are still adding WiFi modules to home appliances, allowing users to remotely control through the App. However, judging from the current market performance of the home appliance industry, it is difficult to believe that this “Internet of Things” has really achieved the purpose of enterprises-through the binding of the Internet of Things ecology, let consumers choose their own brands (platforms) more Product. After all, for consumers, the cost of cross-platform is just a matter of installing an App.

The last change is not for the C side, and that is industrial interconnection.

Because they have mastered the important scenes of industrial production, home appliance companies like Haier and Midea have been trying to open up the platform, accumulated experience and data built therein while strengthening the industrialization of intelligence. Judging from the occurrence of the manufacturers themselves, this layout is still continuously updated, and has gradually achieved commercialization.

In general, the technology of home appliance companies has been in a state of blossoming for a long time. The terminal, cloud, and production chain all seem to present endless business opportunities. But because of this, in each link, home appliance companies are facing fierce competition from technology companies. These three directions also correspond to three kinds of confusion-how to use intelligence to directly leverage purchasing power? How to make consumers rely on the brand ecological platform? How to enhance the benefits of the solution?

Facing these problems, compared with technology companies that are more lightweight on Flash, the home appliances companies with relatively heavy weight will more or less end up on the schedule.

Advance and retreat in 2019

Perhaps because the presence of technology companies has been too strong in the last ten years,And traditional enterprises will always have a “step on one and hold one” mentality. In fact, the more technical development moves towards industrial landing, the more we can feel the importance of traditional enterprises.

Even if there is occasional confusion, home appliance companies still have irreplaceable advantages in technological transformation. For example, the accumulated brand volume over decades has made their channel capabilities far beyond that of technology companies. Coupled with the grasp of the industrial chain, it will also allow home appliance companies to gain more flexibility in product development and manufacturing. Especially when it comes to upstream industries such as panel chips, the deep accumulation of home appliance companies can also lay the foundation for IoT, intelligent computing, and so on.

So from the middle of 2019, home appliance companies have begun to use their advantages to a certain extent, rather than just extending their branches to all areas.

Can home appliances companies

Judging from the “retirement” keyword, a common phenomenon in 2019 is that home appliance companies no longer stand by their own IoT cloud ecosystem and choose to be open. Midea, Skyworth, TCL, Changhong and other companies, regardless of the progress of the construction of the Internet of Things platform, have chosen cloud interconnection. For example, Midea has completed the docking with Skyworth in the cloud, and because Skyworth has cooperation with Baidu, users can control Midea’s products through small speakers, and the above platforms have been docked with Huawei’s HiLink in the cloud.

In short, when home appliance companies give up the illusion of “enhancing brand loyalty through apps”, it is clear that consumers can greatly expand their choices when purchasing smart homes. Mobile or voice interaction portals that technology companies are good at Speech recognition ability, user behavior analysis ability, etc. can also better affect the home scene.

On the keyword of “enterprise”, in the year of 2019, home appliance companies will begin to focus more on the industry chain itself. Among them, there is an open attitude towards the industrial chain. For example, Midea launched the IoT developer platform and IoT development module, and Changhong also started the research and development of 5G modules. As for Gree and Galanz, they have either independently developed or cooperated with semiconductor companies to start introducing AI processors for IoT chips and home appliance applications.

Among themThe change is that home appliance companies have realized the distance from “smart upgrades” to “sell more goods.” I began to try to change the idea of ​​income, and tried to start with development platforms, modules, chips, and so on. Maybe I can give more advantages to myself.


The changes in home appliance companies also remind us as consumers. The future of smart home may not come as easily as imagined. It is to transform every link in the industry chain step by step, and finally a brand new lifestyle can be presented to consumers.

This process cannot be completed independently by home appliance companies or technology companies.

Under the trend of technological transformation of home appliance companies, in 2020 and in the future. There will be the following trends with high probability.

In product research and development, home appliance companies and technology companies have entered a deeper cooperation. Smart upgrade is no longer just adding voice or image interaction modules, but improving the overall performance of the product itself by adding more edge computing. At the same time, home appliance companies themselves will more turn to B-end, buying IoT solutions, industrial Internet solutions, and home appliance intelligent solutions. And the purchase target is likely to be their former competitors-some smaller household appliance brands that cannot afford to upgrade themselves intelligently.

Further, since the industrial chain is opening up, the cooperation between home appliance companies and technology companies will become richer and more frequent. Platform docking, joint development of chips, and developer ecological interactions will all emerge more widely.

In fact, the technological transformation of home appliance companies has already begun, and the current trend of renaming can only be regarded as an iconic node. From then on, as a home appliance company, it will also go deep into the industry and try to take a share of it.

The future of IoT must be far more lively than we think.