Thursday, January 20, 2011

Samsung Tweeting Refrigerator: Potential features

Heard about Samsung showcasing a tweeting refrigerator at Consumer Electronic Show (CES), Las Vegas.

Initially I thought this refrigerator will tweet on its own about stuffs like “I’m running out of ice cubes” or “Just got fresh stock of apples” or stuff like that. But then, I realized that the tweeting refrigerator isn’t that smart. Priced at US $3300, Samsung’s Twitter Fridge  just has a smartphone like panel attached to its door using which people (family members) can tweet (subject to availability of WiFi, leave notes or view photos etc).

Below video has visual details of its feature. But we already have a computer, mobile and may be a tablet doing all that work- do you need your refrigerator door to the same set of tasks?

Doubt if the tweeting refrigerator is of any use in its current avatar… Here’re some imaginary ideas for Samsung R& D staff to work on. I know its too early to expect all these, but you never know- some scientists and engineers might be working on it somewhere…

  • Intelligent refrigerators should be able to alert the owners when they run out of stock. Better still, they should interface with stores to know if fresh stock has arrived or if a discount/offer is available.
  • Refrigerators should be able to compare real time prices of various supermarkets nearby and advice their owners  from which shop to buy them from (going a step forward, place an order and charge it to owner’s credit card!)
  • If the owner tweets some instructions, refrigerator should be able to obey the command and act accordingly (like “We might have a party tonight- prepare more ice cubes” or “We’re travelling out of town for a week- Don’t order any fresh stuff” or “Coming home late tonight. Tell my wife not to wait for me”
  • Unit should keep track of its carbon footprint and advice owners on how to reduce it.

May be they can be made to share intel among neighboring refrigerators for benefits like:

  • If a neighbor is going out of town and food in the refrigerator is likely to go waste, the refrigerator can remind them to give it to the user next door
  • If a neighboring refrigerator has got some stuff at very low cost or of excellent quality, your unit can advise you to buy from same store.
And an extreme feature to end the imagination: Intelligent refrigerator can have a self destructing feature-whenever an intruder/thief breaks in into your house and opens fridge to have some food after his robbery, refrigerator can sense the danger and should induct poison into the food, so that the intruder collapses after consuming the food.

Food for thought...