First, it was the smartphone. Then, the smartwatch. There is even talk of a smart car. However, the one product that has just been released by Samsung is sort of unexpected — the smart fridge. CNET gave the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator four stars.
“The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator is the best-looking and most fully featured fridge we’ve ever tested. The touchscreen and its assortment of apps are a cinch to use, and the refrigerator’s camera feed is surprisingly useful thanks to clever drag-and-drop expiration trackers.
CNET didn’t like the fact that Samsung’s fridge didn’t allow the user to delete any useless apps or download new ones. The Family Hub fridge is also unable to be operated by any voice commands. Still, it has everything else imaginable to offer. And then there is the price — $5,600.
There have been smart-fridge like devices by LG and other companies, but nothing as extensive as Samsung’s new refrigerator. It’s hard to imagine a device this expensive taking off, but it will after the price goes down, which is bound to happen. According to the Samsung website, the Family Hub Refrigerator offers some really interesting capabilities:
- The ability to see what’s in your fridge from anywhere in the world with a smartphone fridge app
- Stream your favorite music and videos through different services
- Connect to your local grocery store to put in an order
- Access recipes
- Share family vacation photos
- Write notes on the fridge, or on your smartphone (which transfers notes to the fridge).
- Share calendars with family members
All of these things sound like things you don’t really need, but want anyway. The aspect that fascinates me the most is the ability to see what’s in your fridge thanks to the three cameras in the fridge. If you are at the grocery store and want to know if you need to buy milk or apple juice, you can check right away on your smartphone to see how much you have left.
This, of course, is more important to a family than a single person such as myself, but it can be useful to anyone. I also like the fact you can write notes on the fridge, even if you are not home. Imagine writing tasks for your children to finish for an upcoming family gathering before you get home from work. Of course, you can just text them, but the “fridge” method is more fun.
Samsung finally found a niche that Apple hasn’t dug into yet. However, you can bet if the Family Hub Refrigerator doesn’t take off, Apple will take notes, perfect the problems, and release their own fridge while pretending they invented the genre.