So you’ve finally finished creating your connected kombucha maker! But there’s only one model, it feels pretty cheap, and the app interface is built into the side of the device. Hmmm. According to Carley Knobloch of HGTV Smart Home, consumers may not be so excited about your product.

At the 2016 Smart Kitchen Summit (watch the video below), Knobloch detailed the latest trends that can make a product stand out from the crowd.

“It should really be a sensory experience that tells our body in every way that we are home,” she said.


First off, that means it should be unique to each person’s home. Consumers are looking for custom looks and features “so that everything looks as unique as the person,” Knobloch said. “The more you can accommodate different features and the ability to change features depending on every person’s or family’s needs, the better,” making the customer a partner in the design experience and that much more invested in your product.

This flexibility for the oh-so-precious millennials, who want an authentic space, as well as boomers, who are all about individualism. Two age groups, one stone.

Sensory Experience

Don’t stop at the visuals. Consider the sounds your product makes to create a happy Pavlovian response. Pay attention to touch, “the weight of it, does it feel substantial or does it feel flimsy; what’s the quality of the finishes, do they look polished do they look casual; is it fun to touch the touchscreen?” Knobloch asked.

She said that natural products are very en vogue at the moment: bamboo, plant life, woven baskets, pottery, macramé. Just as valuable: touchless faucets, induction burners, disappearing devices that can hide behind cabinets.

The Right Kind of Smart

Most of all, consider what kind of connectivity your consumers want. “They don’t want smart that isn’t future-proof,” she said, and “they don’t want smart that doesn’t respect their privacy.” On the other hand, they want smart that connects them with their food (think grocery shopping, meal prepping, and knowing what’s in their fridge) and smart that connects them to their family and the world.

Follow these guidelines and your connected kombucha maker might just become a hit.

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