How today's consumers perceive tomorrow's smart products

S. Rijsdijk, Eric Hultink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper investigates consumer responses to new smart products. Due to the application of information technology, smart products are able to collect, process, and produce information and can be described as ‘‘thinking’’ for themselves. In this study, 184 consumers respond to smart products that are characterized by two different combinations of smartness dimensions. One group of products shows the smartness dimensions of autonomy, adaptability, and reactivity. Another group of smart products are multifunctional and able to cooperate with other products. Consumer responses to these smart products are measured in terms of the innovation attributes of relative advantage, compatibility, observability, complexity, and perceived risk. The study shows that products with higher levels of smartness are perceived to have both advantages and disadvantages. Higher levels of product smartness are mainly associated with higher levels of observability and perceived risk. The effects of product smartness on relative advantage, compatibility, and complexity vary across product smartness dimensions and across product categories. For example, higher levels of product autonomy are perceived as increasingly advantageous whereas a high level of multifunctionality is perceived disadvantageous. The paper discusses the advantages and pitfalls for each of the five product smartness dimensions and their implications for new product development and concludes with a discussion of the limitations of the study and suggestions for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-42
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

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