It was a tough year for the Indian consumer durables business. With the goods and services tax (GST) on air-conditioners and televisions above 32 inches proving to be a pain-point for consumers, sales remain muted.
However, one area that did retain momentum was product development. Be it kitchen appliances or televisions, a slew of new launches hit the market.
The year 2020 is also expected to see similar action in terms of new appliance launches. Here is a lowdown on some products that could be added to the shelves next year:
While Syska has been among the first movers in this segment, several other lighting solutions providers are also working on similar technology. This product will include integration with home virtual assistance platforms. Depending on the type of mood or occasion, the lighting can be transformed. As a step forward, these LED lights could also be synced to the music being played.
For these devices, your smartphone will be the switch. All operations can be controlled by using your mobile phone. Automatic modes can also be set and artificial intelligence will be used to change the light colours.
Price range would be between Rs 10,000-25,000 for the full set of bulbs and accessories.
Three white goods firms are working on a technology where dietary preferences can be stored in the smart refrigerator. Here, once the preferences are added, specific recipes will be suggested depending on the ingredients that are available in the refrigerator.
Also, depending on the details input into the refrigerator, alerts will be sent to your smartphone. These alerts will include likely expiry of food stock as well as reminders for purchase. If integrated to virtual assistant devices like Amazon Alexa, the fridge itself could place an order for a food item that is out of stock at home.
The price could range between Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh.
White goods maker LG displayed a new technology in 2019 where the regular television screen can be rolled up into a poster. It is likely that in 2020, this product could be available in international markets. Whether other consumer durables firms will follow this idea is yet to be seen. However, what is clear is that this product won’t come cheap and is expected to be priced upwards of Rs 15 lakh.
India has already seen an uber-luxury LED launch in December. Consumer durables firm Samsung launched the country’s largest and most expensive LED display called ‘The Wall’.
Priced between Rs 3.5 crore to Rs 12 crore, the MicroLED display – not called a TV – comes in a variety of sizes and ratios. It ranges from 146 inches (370.8 cm) in 4K definition, 219 inches (556.3 cm) in 6K definition, to 292 inch (741.7 cm) in 8K definition.
–IoT-led decor fan
While a series of Internet-of-Things (IoT) enabled fans have been launched in the Indian market, these will be a notch above with auto-speed and auto-switch fans. Using technology, these fans will study the prevailing temperature and weather conditions outside and switch on/off and change speeds without any human intervention.
Depending on a pre-set desired temperature, these fans will operate to provide maximum comfort. Further, a few electrical goods firms are also working on fans that can change colours based on the decor of the room.
The price could range between Rs 8,000 to 20,000.
Rather than having a series of devices to make cooking easy, what if you could get a robot to make the entire meal itself? That is what devices like Mechanical Chef will be able to do.
Mechanical Chef is still not available for retail consumers but will have the ability to cook 100 Indian dishes based on pre-set recipes. It is expected to be priced around Rs 25,000. Currently, this robot has been enabled to boil and stir-fry, but later, may also be able to grind and pressure cook.
Globally, products like Moley (robot chef) are available for around Rs 11 lakh and have a library of recipes which the robotic arm follows.
Fillip to the industry?
The white goods industry is estimated to be around Rs 60,000 crore in India with annual growth of nearly 15 percent per annum. With some of these new appliances becoming available from 2020, revenue growth is expected to get a further boost, provided customers become willing to shell out a few lakh rupees.