The connected washing machine is still a novelty, but Whirlpool is making plans for the connected home

Gigaom

Turns out, getting the internet on your washing machine isn’t as complicated as you might think. Whirlpool’s got you covered with its smart washer. But does anyone actually use it?

“It’s not at all widespread,” Chris Quatrochi, a Whirlpool Global Director, admitted at Structure Connect Wednesday. He chatted with Gigaom Executive Editor Tom Krazit about the challenges the consumer electronics industry has faced in developing connected products that customers will actually want.

“We’ve all tried putting tablets on fridges — Whirlpool is guilty of that too,” Quatrochi said. “Trying to understand the value proposition you provide to the consumer is a challenge.”

To Quatrochi, the difference between a tech company and a product company comes down to how the tech solution is developed. For a tech company, a security solution, or a new kind of fridge, or an experimental product might by interesting in and of itself from a…

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