The domestic American Dream has always been about the fridge. Forget washing machines and tumble dryers – they’ve long since been relegated to the utility room or basement. Dish washers? They’ve always been as dull as dishwater. Ever since the ‘fifties and the post-war boom in consumerism, the fridge has been king in the kitchen – and the bigger the better. So, do you want to keep up with the Joneses? Well, unless you have about $6,000 to spare, keep your fingers crossed that the Joneses don’t invest in a super sophisticated Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator.
So, what is it exactly? It’s a fridge and also a tablet. A 21.5-inch full HD LCD screen is displayed on the front of the door. You connect the refrigerator to your smartphone, and three cameras inside the fridge will send you a snapshot of its contents. Out and about and wanting to food shop? Ask your fridge what’s inside.
You can also use your phone to share stuff with the fridge front – calendars, family photos, kids’ artwork, etc. Leaving a note on the fridge just got sophisticated! Though, don’t bother to remind anyone ‘we’re running out of milk – please pick some up on the way home,’ because your Family Hub can do it for you!
According to a press release posted on the Samsung Newsroom site, “The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator is a sophisticated multi-tasker that reconnects families, organizes groceries and home tasks, and provides entertainment.”
Bam! Well that’s some claim – or more accurately, several claims. This isn’t just a kitchen appliance; it’s a social worker, a personal shopper and an entertainer all wrapped up in stylish packaging. Stainless steel, sir? They’ve got it. Black stainless steel, madame? They’ve got that, too. Cool!
So, what else can it do? Well for a start, it plays tunes. It has built-in speakers and connects to Pandora or TuneIn Radio, making cooking to the oldies or baking to Britney even easier than before!
If you have a Samsung Smart TV you can even watch TV on it using screen mirroring.
According to John Herrington, Senior Vice President, General Manager of Home Appliances, Samsung Electronics America: “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. Now more than ever, we are delivering in a big way on the promise of the Internet of Things”.
It also chills food and keeps it fresh! The ‘Triple Cooling System’ has three evaporators, and the bottom-right door can be switched from a fridge to a freezer setting. It tracks food expiry dates and bar codes. It can also do online shopping; the ‘Hub’ can be connected to a ‘major credit card partner’. Yeah, you read right! It is basically your own personal shopper!
So, is this the future of food preservation? Are fridges set to become essential home helpers, keeping the family together, keeping us all fed, happy and watered? Well, it depends on your needs and your mindset. And there are obvious questions. Will it be able to keep track of individual items, like fruit and vegetables? Will we ever be at a stage where every onion and tomato is packaged with its own bar code? What about used food in containers or in cling wrap?
But hey, why complain? It’s fun. You may not want (or be able) to buy it. It may even split up families rather than keep them together – ‘Dad, the kid next door has a smart fridge, and ours just has a light that switches on when you open the door’. Well, nothing’s perfect, but come on – you have to admit, it’s cool! And what else should a fridge be?