People love to dig into technology like smart refrigerators. Although the price is not quite affordable yet, there is no denying that smart refrigerators can actually be very useful.
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During CES earlier this year, Samsung and LG doubled down on their smart devices, with their new smart refrigerators being one of the main focuses. While many CES attendees spent their time whispering jokes to their peers (including my colleagues), I sat back and dreamed about how useful something like this could be in so many homes.
You can see what’s in your fridge while the grocery store
Most smart refrigerators have a super wide angle camera mounted inside the refrigerator so you can see what you have right from your smartphone — a great tool when you’re at the grocery store.
«But why can’t you just open the refrigerator and take a picture with your phone,» you ask? In the ideal scenario, this is exactly what you would do, but all too often you have already left the house when you decide to go to the grocery store to grab a few things. Or at the last minute, you decide you’ll stop by on your way home from work.
It might even save you a trip to the store. How many times have you wondered what you could cook at home but couldn’t remember if you had the right things and decided to go shopping anyway?
Also, something like this can come in handy when you’re craving a midnight snack but don’t know exactly what to snack on. So you can just stare at the camera on your phone without opening the refrigerator door and wasting all that energy (and money). Some smart refrigerators also come with touch screens that double as a window, so you can peek through the door at any time to see what’s inside.
They have touch screens that you probably use in the kitchen anyway
As mentioned above, most smart refrigerators have touch screen tablets that mimic the ones you probably already have in your home.
Sure, these touchscreens may not be nearly as good as an iPad, but they can still be useful for simple kitchen chores like looking up recipes, viewing a family calendar, or listening to music—things you might already be doing with your the current tablet in the kitchen, that is, the built-in tablet in the refrigerator is not attracted at all.
You might even argue that having an internet-connected family calendar right on the fridge where people can’t miss it is a pretty killer feature.
Obviously, depending on your tastes, you might not like the touchscreen interface that comes with most smart refrigerators, and Samsung or LG aren’t very well known for their amazing tablet user interfaces. But perhaps in the future we will see smart refrigerators get better and maybe even a little more diverse by allowing third parties to offer their own OS on smart refrigerator touchscreens.
They have Alexa built in, which is handy in the kitchen.
As with touch screens in the kitchen, you probably already have a voice assistant in your kitchen. And Alexa can be extremely helpful in the kitchen.
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With Alexa (or another voice assistant), you can set timers, get measurements, add groceries to your shopping list, and even learn how to cook certain meals by calling up recipes.
Some smart refrigerators have Alexa built in, and it’s only a matter of time before this feature becomes standard on all smart refrigerators and other mainstream devices. As much as I hate it, voice control is integrating into everything, and over time it will move in that direction.
That’s where appliances go, so get used to it
In any case, no matter how much you laugh at the idea of smart refrigerators, they are here to stay. It may take 5, 10 or even 20 years for them to become commonplace in the kitchen, but smart refrigerators will become the norm nonetheless.
It’s like when smart TVs first started hitting the market. At first they were rare and not always affordable. Now, it’s almost impossible for you to buy a new TV without a smart TV, no matter how much you hate it. I argue that the same will happen with smart refrigerators and other large appliances. You’re probably laughing at the salesperson when they put you a Wi-Fi-enabled water heater, but at some point in the future, you’ll have a hard time finding one. without WiFi. The same goes for smart phones in the fridge.
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