Technology plays an integral part in the lives of most Americans. A vast majority have smartphones and spend upwards of two hours a day on social media platforms alone. Despite the widespread use of—and sometimes dependence on—technology, homeowners have been slower to embrace new technology in kitchens. Kitchen products with technological advancements may be hits on trade show floors, but dealers and designers say clients are typically much less enthusiastic about such products. Kitchen & Bath Design News conducted a survey of kitchen and bath dealers and designers to uncover more about clients' interest in technology, the features they value, and their reservations about home tech.

Incorporating technology into a kitchen project is usually a joint decision, according to those polled. Indeed, when asked who drives the initial interest in tech products, survey respondents said their clients did so (32.5%) more than they did (23.3%), though most of the time, it was a joint decision (44.2%). The primary reason for incorporating technology was overwhelmingly seen as convenience, which was cited as the most important benefit by 56.9% of those polled. This was followed by speed/time savings (15.4%), safety/home security (13.9%), remote access (6.9%) and improved cooking performance (6.9%).

But while technology is slowly but surely gaining ground in the kitchen, consumers continue to voice some concerns, according to those surveyed. Chief among these is the worry that incorporating connected appliances will shorten the lifespan of the product due to how quickly technology becomes dated, as well as potential repair costs. In fact, of those polled, more than three quarters (76.2%) said their clients were either “very worried” (30.8%) or “somewhat worried” (45.4%) about this. By contrast, only 22.3% said their clients were “not very worried” and a mere 1.5% said they were “not worried at all.”

Privacy concerns also were cited by designers as a concern related to home technology, with more than six in 10 saying their clients were very or somewhat worried about the impact technology in their home could have on privacy issues. Nearly a fifth (19.2%) said their clients were “very worried” about privacy issues as they relate to technology in their homes, while 44.6% said their clients were “somewhat worried.” Another 30% said their customers were “not very worried” and 6.2% said their customers were “not at all worried.”

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