The idea of the internet fridge was a cute one, but back in 2000, it was unnecessary. It’s seen a few more attempts over the years, though, and it’s about to get another.
Sixteen years past when LG first tried to pitch the idea of an internet fridge as the fridge of the future, most of us probably still don’t think of the appliance that houses our food as needing to connect to the web.
Still, Samsung is going to make it happen in its latest update to the product.
Back in 2012, Samsung tried the category for the first time, unveiling a fridge that included a tablet for no other reason than it could, with the SRF800WGDLS being Samsung’s first web-friendly fridge thanks to an 8 inch tablet being built right into the body.
You could surf the web, check the weather, and tweet, and there was even a recipe app, but the tablet wasn’t really there for a reason.
In fact, you kind of need a reason to have a tablet on a fridge — to integrate one, anyway — because the average joe can do that with their own tablet and fridge these days, especially when writers like this one have written guides on the topic.
So four years later, Samsung thinks it might have found a way to crack the internet fridge category open, and we don’t mean so you can get a tasty beverage out.
This week at CES, the electronics giant has called its Family Hub Refrigerator “an entirely new category”, but that’s something you’ll have to judge for yourself given what this does and how few smart appliances exist on the market.
It’s certainly not the first smart fridge we’ve seen, but given what it can do, it may be one of the more impressive examples of the technology.
For starters, it’s a fridge, which is quite obviously what you’d expect it to be, housing and chilling your food, making it last as long as possible due to a triple cooling system, among other things.
Outside, though, there are also developments on the stainless steel body, which now comes in black and regular old stainless silver, and to make the Samsung Family Hub Fridge stand out, you’ll find a 21.5 inch Full HD touchscreen built directly into the body.
An unorthodox size and resolution means Samsung hasn’t just transplanted a tablet to a refrigerator body, and some of the technology used with the fridge proves it, with Samsung telling GadgetGuy that there are three cameras built into the fridge that will take a photo every time the door closes.
That might seem strange, but Samsung intends to use that photo to show you what is on the inside of your fridge whenever you want to find out, allowing you to keep the door closed but still know what’s on the inside, because that’s surely what counts.
You don’t need to do it on your fridge, either, with Samsung releasing a “Smart Home” app for your Android phone or tablet that will talk to the fridge. This means if you’re struggling to work out what to buy for dinner, you can check the phone with you and find out what you have at home.
Interestingly, Samsung has even integrated a speaker, allowing you to add sound and music to your kitchen — if you don’t already have a speaker in there — while a dose of Bluetooth will also make it possible to send your music to a wireless speaker.
“Samsung has strongly reinvigorated the home appliance space with fresh thinking and functionality that have taken appliances from a ‘need’” to a ‘want’,” said Samsung’s John Herrington.
“With the new and innovative Family Hub Refrigerator, we are transforming the communal kitchen experience for consumers in ways that will re-define how they view and use their refrigerator,” he said.
If you’re intrigued by this concept, the good news on this one is that Australia will be getting the fridge, with Samsung Australia’s Mike Lilly telling it will be coming to Australia.
“We look forward to delivering home appliances in 2016 that have been designed with the everyday lives of consumers in mind,” said Lilly.
“The new product portfolio will also help to extend our intuitive connected technology ecosystem even further.”