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Samsung's new smart fridge lets you check in on its contents through internal cameras

Samsung's new smart fridge let...
Tim Baxter, President and COO of Samsung Electronics America with the Family Hub Refrigerator at CES 2016
Tim Baxter, President and COO of Samsung Electronics America with the Family Hub Refrigerator at CES 2016
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Tim Baxter, President and COO of Samsung Electronics America with the Family Hub Refrigerator at CES 2016
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Tim Baxter, President and COO of Samsung Electronics America with the Family Hub Refrigerator at CES 2016
Just like a number of Samsung's previous takes on the smart fridge, the Family Hub bears a large display on the outside of the door
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Just like a number of Samsung's previous takes on the smart fridge, the Family Hub bears a large display on the outside of the door
The fridge also features a a built-in speaker for music streaming and can hook up to external Bluetooth speakers
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The fridge also features a a built-in speaker for music streaming and can hook up to external Bluetooth speakers
Inside are three cameras described only as "high quality," which can be tuned into through a user's smartphone app at any time
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Inside are three cameras described only as "high quality," which can be tuned into through a user's smartphone app at any time
Just like a number of Samsung's previous takes on the smart fridge, the Family Hub bears a large display on the outside of the door
5/6
Just like a number of Samsung's previous takes on the smart fridge, the Family Hub bears a large display on the outside of the door
The fridge also features a a built-in speaker for music streaming and can hook up to external Bluetooth speakers
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The fridge also features a a built-in speaker for music streaming and can hook up to external Bluetooth speakers

With a back catalogue of fridges featuring sparkling water dispensers, independent cooling zones and touchscreens of all shapes and sizes, these days it might be more surprising if Samsung rolled in to CES without some kind of wacky refrigerator in tow. For this year's event, the Korean electronics giant has wheeled out a connected fridge with internal cameras so you can peer inside using your phone when you're out and about. After numerous false starts, could it be Samsung's Family Hub Refrigerator that earns this everyday appliance a place at the table of the Internet of Things?

Just like a number of Samsung's previous takes on the smart fridge, and models from competitors like LG, the Family Hub bears a large display on the outside of the door. This sizeable 21.5-inch full HD LCD screen can display calendars, photos, notes, recipes, shopping lists, and also stream television using screen mirroring with a Samsung Smart TV. It also features a a built-in speaker for music streaming and can hook up to external Bluetooth speakers. As the name suggests, Samsung wants its latest fridge to be the centerpiece of the connected family home.

Inside are three cameras described as "high quality," which can be tuned into through a companion smartphone app at any time. Imagine the possibilities. You could find out which of the kids is over-indulging in lemonade, or perhaps record a dramatic time-lapse of wilting lettuce leaves. Detective and art work aside, it would actually serve a very useful purpose by letting you check in on your fridge's contents while at the grocery store, something we've all wished we could do at one time or another.

The fridge also features a a built-in speaker for music streaming and can hook up to external Bluetooth speakers
The fridge also features a a built-in speaker for music streaming and can hook up to external Bluetooth speakers

This problem could of course be avoided by doing your grocery shopping at home, something that hasn't escaped Samsung either. It has enlisted the people at Mastercard to build a specialized app called Groceries that can be accessed right from the Family Hub's display. Here users can order products from various vendors, with FreshDirect and ShopRite appearing in the promotional video, and then pay at checkout using any US card.

With our ongoing acclimatization to an ever-connected world, perhaps the timing is finally right for the smart fridge to plonk itself down at or near the center of the modern home. Much will of course depend on the pricing, which at the time of writing is unavailable, but if it's not the Family Hub that brings Samsung smart fridge success chances are it'll be returning to the drawing board anyhow. The fridge will be available this coming (US) spring in stainless steel and black.

The short video below offers a quick look at the app and the fridge itself.

Source: Samsung

9 comments
Daishi
Now they need to collect data from your fitness tracker and scale to display your calories burned since last opening the fridge and last weight on the display when you walk up to it. "Welcome back already Daishi, you have 3 more miles required before eating your next meal. While you are here place your glass in the door for some nice ice water!" Maybe Soylent, Keurig, and Fitbit could team up for something like this: "It's your scheduled meal time, based on your profile, activity, and diet please place pods 7, 1, and 3 into Keurig meal maker and press brew"
oldguy
At Last! I've often walked past my fridge and wondered whats inside. Now this brilliant new invention takes all the guesswork out of my life!
Richard Vahrman
A smart fridge is a small fridge. As more services come along that supply fresh food in meal-ready quantities on a daily basis, the need to store massive amounts of ingredients (much of which inevitably goes to waste) becomes obsolete.
Chronos
This is wonderful... Now the electric company, via the smartmeter which they have placed on your home, can determine and sell to food and medicine suppliers what you have in your refrigerator now, and with some collecting, what is usually -or unusually- there. They will know more about you than you do.... Soon they won't need you at all... except to pay the bill for their access to your information...
Bob Flint
Hey "oldguy" I loved your comment, immediately saw my kids hanging over the open fridge door (they do actually open!), staring into the cluttered fridge, trying to decipher the odds & ends stored in Tupper wear, & foil/plastic wrap...
Wolf0579
I will be happy with a fridge that does not dump all the cold air on the floor when you open it. The freezer should be tub shaped and be on the bottom opening as a drawer. I've seen a couple that are close, but the entire freezing compartment opens when you pull the drawer out again dumping most of the cold air onto the floor.
nguyen.alex@outlook.com
Does anyone know the dimensions (width and height) of this fridge?
Henreid
I have absolutely ZERO interest in a "smart" refrigerator. All I will EVER want is a long-lasting, maintenance-free refrigerator that keeps my food cold while drawing the least amount of electricity possible. I don't want ANY smart appliances. I don't even like smart TVs. The only devices I own that need to be smart are computers. It's just wasteful, redundant and expensive to incorporate processing ability into most other products used in the home. More and more frequently, I am struck with the feeling that sites like Gizmag have largely become purveyors of tech porn: extravagantly costly devices whose primary purpose is to stimulate lust for the newest and sexiest electronic invention. It's creepy, and rather than tempting me, it actually makes me LESS inclined to spend money on these ostentatious things.
Riaanh
@Henreid, I am with you on this one. But I would not call it Tech-Porn, it is more like Tech-drugs or Tech-dependence. We have become a gadget driven society, when you newest gadget is a month or two old, you need a new fix to pick you up. This is fuelled by the lust for growth of the tech companies, who is continuously trying to re-invent old products to be able to ship more. Your old cellphone which is still functioning perfectly is becoming landfill, because the screen of the new one is 0.2 inches bigger, and it has 30 new functions none of which you will be using in a months time. The corporations on their part is driven to growth by the shareholders who is fuelled by their lust for money, so that they can buy more gadgets.....