Sometimes the ultimate luxury is that of convenience. In a busy world, those items that make our lives a little easier are welcomed and sought after. The latest “must have” smart home technology? The smart refrigerator.
In 1997, engineers at LG started work on the Internet Digital DIOS, the first internet refrigerator, three years and nearly $50 million later, they released the Digital DIOS and it flopped. The features were fairly revolutionary (by Y2K standards) with an LCD screen with television functionality and a port for an ethernet cable. It offered an information window with an electronic pen, data memo, video messaging, and schedule management. It also provided information including inside temperature, food freshness, nutrition data, and recipes. The Digital DIOS’ webcam could be used as a scanner to track contents, an MP3 player, and multi-level ice maker. The best part, however, was that the Digital DIOS used half the electricity of its conventional counterparts and ran quieter.
The Digital DIOS wasn’t long for the grave (nor was the first dot com boom) and smart refrigerators (a term that came into use much later) became a distant memory. That is, until Web 2.0 and the advent of smartphones changed our lives dramatically. What we once viewed as intrusive, we now viewed as convenience (bordering on necessity). Enter the new smart refrigerators!
Panasonic made an attempt at revival in 2010 to no avail. Then, along came Samsung. They introduced the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Showcase (CES). While it garnered mixed reviews (and still does), the $6,000 refrigerator was leading the pack in the new advent of the smart refrigerator. The Samsung Family Hub features a built in camera for food management; calendars, notes, and photo sharing; and a host of apps.
It makes sense, right? What family member doesn’t visit the refrigerator? It’s a great spot for central communication and it can help you manage your family’s meals. In 2017, Samsung was back again at CES with the Family Hub 2.0. Promising to be more interactive and more personalized, this may be the future of refrigerators for our smart homes.
The competition heats up… LG is back. They’ve come out with an Alexa-powered refrigerator to bump the Family Hub out of the spotlight. What makes this new iteration of LG Instaview unique? Primarily, LG’s partnership with Amazon allowing you to use Alexa. You can ask your refrigerator anything you need to know about its contents and have it add things to your shopping list. Hands free on the next level! Imagine, you’re cooking or preparing your shopping plan and you just have to say, “Alexa, do I need butter?” Again, there is luxury in convenience.
Are you ready to make your home even smarter with a smart refrigerator? You’ll find the ones mentioned above at most appliance retailers. What’s a must have on your smart home wish list?