The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) offers companies an opportunity to share cutting-edge technologies with the world. This year’s show kicked off in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 7th with endless displays of newfangled designs. Products ranged from automated to robotic to downright futuristic. While some things are still in the planning or prototype phase, Chinese brand Haier shared the fully formed components of their Casarte IoT refrigerator, and they even took home the Technology Innovation Award from CES Tech Awards for their invention.
Refrigerators have been an increasingly centralized component of the kitchen for decades now. Offering more than a cool space, refrigerator design has changed dramatically over the years, making room for gallon jugs of milk while adding temperature-controlled meat and vegetable drawers into the mix. But the most recent advances go well beyond condiment holders in the doors or built-in water filtration systems.
Today’s refrigerators have entered the realm of smart appliances, and today they’re quickly reaching kitchen assistant status, with the ability to inventory the contents inside and even make dinner recommendations based on the food you already have.
The Casarte IoT refrigerator does all of this and functions as a family health consultant. After providing your taste preferences and dietary restrictions, the fridge will automatically compose a weekly nutritional meal plan and customize recipes for you and your family. Shopping and cooking are streamlined with insightful information about the contents of your refrigerator available around the clock.
For example, you can manage ingredients through the refrigerator’s large front screen. When ingredients are about to expire, your fridge will let you know so you can consume or remove them to avoid waste and spoiled food.
The technology is based on the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT), which basically means that the refrigerator is equipped with smart technology that allows it to connect with the internet, internal programs, software, and networks in order to exchange data. This human-free system makes the refrigerator more responsive to the needs of the user than any other model currently on the market.
The IoT concept has a variety of applications, and refrigerators are just the beginning, with the Haier Smart Home program dedicated to offering smart services in the living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and balcony. Haier wants to use the technology to provide users with conveniences and solutions covering clothing, food, housing, and entertainment.
According to the company’s official website, the Casarte brand is set for continued innovation well into the future, with the goal of eventually providing luxury products aimed at improving the user experience. The company explains that: “Casarte is an international premium brand fashioned after Italian elegance, and its core product lines include artistic consumer electric appliances and integrated kitchenware.”
The brand name “Casarte” is derived from the Italian words “la casa,” which stands for “home”, and “arte” meaning “Art.” Casarte is thus a combination of both words: “art of home.”
The CES Innovation Awards is an annual competition at the show that honors outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products. Judges recognize honorees in a number of categories and highlight the top-rated products in each. The selected products are judged on specific criteria attached to each category, including engineering design, usability, aesthetic appeal, and uniqueness or innovation.
In addition, the products entered in the competition must be available for sale to the public in U.S. retail outlets or online between April 1, 2019, and April 1, 2020. Entrants must have a product sample available for judging and complete an application, pay an entry fee, and provide photos.