Whatever happened to smart fridges?
The internet of things seems to be invading every part of our lives nowadays. Autonomous cars, smart devices, digital cities – everything and everyone is connected in the modern world. It makes you wonder how long it will be until we’re living in a science fiction novel!
Connected devices play an important role in incredibly significant industries, but that doesn’t mean they are beyond the grasp of your real estate too. Every year, our appliances get faster, more efficient, and most importantly, smarter. Technology is intended to make our lives easier, and there are few things that take the difficulty out of everyday living than the smart fridge.
What is it?
“The butt of tradeshow bylines for years”
There’s no worse feeling than brewing a nice cup of tea or pouring a great cup of coffee, and then nothing but a horrid, rancid sludge pours out of the milk carton into your mug. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if there was a device that could tell you when your food is about to go off, or even automatically order what you need for the week from the local supermarket?
That’s exactly what a smart fridge can do.
Or rather, what it will be able to do. Internet fridges have been around for a while, but only recently have we seen some real development in the field. Before this, they were essentially fridges with a built in internet browser – an odd combination that saw only a little traction in consumer sales. Forbes even named it “the butt of tradeshow bylines for years” in one 13 January article.
The cameras also allow you to check what you need in the fridge while you are at, say, the supermarket.
However, despite the rocky start, it looks like the “intellifridge” still has plenty of steam in the engine, as Samsung has recently unveiled its new Family Hub Refrigerator, which really seems able to deliver everything that a smart fridge should. While it still lacks automatic ordering, it does contain three built in cameras for mobile food monitoring (perfect for catching sneaky snackers while you’re away), as well as the typical built-in smart device intended to replace physical calendars and post-it notes.
Perhaps slightly more practically, the cameras also allow you to check what you need in the fridge while you are at, say, the supermarket. You may also still be able to order food from it manually, as news.com.au reports that Samsung is in talks with local shops to enable integration with this device.
The Smart future
With the Australian Media and Communications Authority recording that almost half of Australians own a tablet and Deloitte finding that 81 per cent of Aussies own a smartphone, is the smart fridge the next logical step in the future? Smart devices are already in our pockets, why not take them into our Australian real estate too?