One of the biggest marketing miss-steps of the past decade surely has to be LG’s Internet Refrigerator that incorporated a Windows 98-based PC and 15.1-inch LCD touch display in the door, allowing users to surf the Internet for recipes, play music and videos or (theoretically) do some office work while standing at the fridge. Electrolux seems to think the world is now ready to embrace the idea and has developed an Internet fridge of its own in the form of the Linux-based Infinity I-Kitchen.
While LG thought its fridge would usher in the era of connected white goods, it turned out people weren’t overly keen to do computing tasks on what amounted to a low-spec PC the size of a 1970’s mainframe with cooling capabilities. Solutions such as the FridgePad or iPod Refrigerator that allow portable computing devices like the iPad or iPod to be easily attached and removed from the fridge are a more elegant solution, allowing users to access recipes and other kitchen-related content on the fridge, while still retaining the portability of the computing device.
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The Infinity I-Fridge, however, takes the embedded computer model pioneered by LG’s offering. It includes a 480 x 800 pixel touchscreen and is powered by a Freescale i.MX25 ARM processor running at 400Mhz with 128MB of RAM. The Linux-based interface was developed by ProFUSION embedded systems, which developed the fridge in a joint effort with the Brazilian subsidiary of Electrolux.
The fridge’s memory comes packed with over 600 recipes, ranging from appetizers and main dishes to light snacks and cocktails. It also comes with applications such as Orkut, Calendar and contacts, while the display can also be used for digital slide shows. It also allows provides extensive control over the fridge’s functions, including setting different temperatures for the various compartments.
The Infinity I-Kitchen refrigerator has a capacity of 542 liters is available in Brazil for the suggested retail price of 5,999 Brazilian Real (approx. US$3,470).
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