For my HF770 Prototyping Course at Bentley, my team was asked to do a competitive analysis on products that solved or improved the problem we identified, "grocery shopping is difficult for busy people." We divided and conquered on this task, each taking one competitor app or physical product. I completed a competitive analysis of the Samsung Smart Fridge, using a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) method.
The Samsung Fridge is a comprehensive and multi-faceted system to track and manage food. It is unique because it bridges the gap between physical, conventional products and emerging technology.
Competitive Analysis: Samsung Fridge
1. Minimizes cognitive load/improves visability of food system status: The fridge has three built in cameras that take photos every time the door closes. Users can use an app to view these photos from anywhere, so they know what they are missing and what to buy.
2. Interactive, multisensory: The fridge's outside display has a display that plays music
3. May reduce amount of time spent: It is integrated with online grocery services like "groceries with mastercard" and Instacart.
4. Match between System and the Real World: The fridge's outside display shows recipes (such as Allrecipes) and sync shopping lists and allows you to leave notes, reminders, calendars, posts picture slideshows (this is in keeping with a traditional fridge's magnetic function to post artwork and papers).
5. Purposeful: The fridge is functional and stores food Overall, the design of the fridge is highly rated 10/10 from CNET and the features are 9/10 (https://www.cnet.com/products/samsung-family-hub-refrigerator/) .
1. Limited user base: The fridge price ranges from $5,600-6000. In comparison, traditional refrigerator models which range from $350-1200. Thus, Family Hub fridges's users are likely limited to upper class individuals/high earners. 2. Match between system and the real world: The foods and services that the Family Hub offers may not be representative of all users. 3. Aesthetic and minimal design/elegance: The touchscreens apps cannot be customized- none can be added or deleted. The great amount of apps may also be overwhelming. 4. Flexibility and efficiency of use: There is no voice control. 5. Efficiency of use: Certain styles of fridges, such as French door fridges, have more room. 6. Security: Possible hacking of photos taken by fridge cameras and information stored on fridge. A recent flaw in the fridges left Gmail open to attack (https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08/24/smart_fridge_security_fubar/) CNET rates the performances and usability of the Family Hub fridge as 8/10.
1. Smartphone use is increasing. Smartphones are used in conjunction with the fridge.
2. Smart-fridge has potential to capture large segment of wealthy individuals.
3. Recent changes in the market, such as online grocery services like Amazon Fresh may drive demand for this product.
4. Perception of Samsung as an innovative, tech company is strong. People may be more willing to buy as a result.
5. The younger generation is technologically savvy and may be more apt to add food apps and understand the functionality of the Family Hub fridge.
1. Many grocery shoppers are low to middle income. Other companies may integrate many of the services that the smart fridge offers, but into a cheaper medium.
2. Many apps today utilize scanners and voice control. Scanners could provide enhanced information about nutrition through importing information and voice control could provide an easier way to communicate information.
3. Most current individuals today do not combine food tracking with refrigeration and have normal fridges and normal food tracking apps. People may be resistant to change, especially with regard to photographs, which may be viewed as invasive.
4. People may be more inclined to accept a customizable food management system, which allows users to remove and add specific features/functions.
5. Limited selection of Samsung Family Hub fridges, but a large selection of different types of normal fridges (that say, make ice, or make a beeping noise when the door is open too long, have a top loading freezer, etc).