It’s called the Family Hub Refrigerator, and it’s an internet-connected appliance fitted with a massive 21.5-inch vertical touchscreen. Samsung plans to officially unveil the phone-fridge at CES this week, so little is known about the device beyond the few details available on this product announcement from Samsung Korea.
The Family Hub Refrigerator features stereo speakers (!) and an interior camera that allows people to view its contents without ever opening the door. Considering it takes less than a second or so to open a fridge door, this seems — at best — an uninspired use for a touchscreen the size of a small TV. The camera can also be accessed from a smartphone, which makes it possible to examine the contents of your fridge remotely, should you find yourself in a situation that demands that sort of thing.
Slightly more useful is the appliance’s recipe manager. The product announcement isn’t clear on how this will work exactly, but it seems Samsung intends to display recipes on the the fridge’s touchscreen that are somehow calibrated for the ingredients you’ve got on hand, as well as allow you to order groceries directly from the display. The appliance also comes with what Samsung calls “D-Day Icons” — alerts that tell you know when food stored inside it is about to go bad.
Beyond this, the Family Hub Refrigerator’s screen appears best suited for something we’ve long used fridge doors for — to display useful information: calendars, to-do lists, and the like. Samsung’s ads for the device show it displaying a calendar, the weather, the time, and a host of other legitimately useful information.
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