Refrigerators are getting smart. A new model released earlier this month
runs apps to help users browse recipes, create shopping lists and
manage the expiration dates of items like yogurt and milk.
refrigerator by electronics company Samsung has a 10-inch Wi-Fi-enabled
touchscreen and includes apps such as Epicurious for recipes and
Evernote for note-taking.
"The fridge, because it's the hub of the
family and the kitchen, is now another access point without having to
drag around your tablet or have your phone with you in the vicinity of
where you're cooking or entertaining," said Warner Doell, a vice
president in the home appliance division at Samsung Canada.
display enables users to keep up with the news, weather and even Twitter
from the fridge door. It can also replace hand-written calendars with
Google Calendar integration, and run slideshows of photos, according to
Shopping lists can be created on the fridge with the
Evernote app, which will sync to smartphones and recipes can be found at
"You can say, 'I have these ingredients in the fridge
what can I make?' and it will show you recipes that you can prepare,"
For people who have trouble keeping track of expiration dates of food items, there's an app for that, too.
But with smartphones and tablets are already ubiquitous in homes, does the smart refrigerator offer more than novelty?
Doell said it does.
get asked a lot why do you need a screen on a refrigerator? And it's a
good question because we're inundated with technology today," said
The main reasons, he explained, are ease-of-use in managing
settings, such as the refrigerators' temperature, and for convenience
because consumers are demanding pervasive connectivity.
"This isn't only about today it's about what will the next five to ten years look like," he added.
The T9000 is geared towards the young-minded consumer who turns to technology for convenience, according to Doell.
it's to control heating, air conditioning, lighting or window
coverings, Doell said that apps for home automation will be increasingly
penetrating the home.
"The technology is converging across all
product categories. With appliances being the traditional staid
industry, it has not been fast to adopt it," said Doell, adding that
Samsung plans to take a leadership role in the area.
refrigerator runs the Android operating system, but it is not possible
to install other Android apps. It will be available worldwide in the
spring for a suggested retail price of $3,999.
© Thomson Reuters 2012
Samsung at CES 2013