A cold, smart paradise
Are you out of eggs, butter, milk, yoghurt? Did you invite friends over and have no beer left? Smart fridges will save you when you’re in a pickle.
Look around your home. Each new model of the electronic devices you see will be smarter, and further developments in the internet of things will add dimensions of an unprecedented scale to their utility.
The options are practically limitless. Sitting on your sofa, you will be able to command your hoover, cooker, dishwasher, while other appliances will automatically cater to your demands and wishes.
Just imagine a smart fridge that is continuously studying your eating habits, monitoring your online calendar, and correspondingly filling itself with produce from a nearby supermarket. A beer with friends? Done in a snap; your favourite lager, ale, or any other hoppy concoction will await you, suitably chilled, on the shelves of your smart fridge. Dinner for two? The recipes and all the produce will find its way there before cooking time.
Samsung already launched a fridge that can be used to control all other smart appliances, browse recipes, play music, send reminders to family members, and that can even do the shopping according to what you order.
Technological progress will undoubtedly open new opportunities in the area of the subscription economy. And, let’s face it, life per month, where you can forget the annoying visits to shopping centres, will be easy to get used to.
The smart transformation of homes is not a thing of the distant future; it’s happening now, right before our eyes. Whirlpool introduced the concept of a smart kitchen, equipped with screens that control all appliances and display online recipes. Their smart fridge can remind owners when it's running low on various produce, and can even heat up a frozen dish, for example a lasagne.
Panasonic developed a smart fridge that can move around your flat. »Finally«, say all who spent endless hours training their pet to bring them beer from their fridge at their command!
Samsung is currently at the head of the game; its smart fridge boasts a 21.5-inch touchscreen that can be used to control other Samsung smart household appliances. It offers access to the internet and recipes – up to 180,000 recipes, actually, depending on the produce currently chilling within. It can also play music and send calendar reminders to family members, as well as do the shopping. For now, that can only happen at the owner’s command, who can additionally check the contents of their 3000-dollar refrigerator with the help of two cameras and a smartphone application.
The global smart household appliance market is projected to grow 14.5 percent each year between 2017 and 2022, as estimated by Zion Market Research. In 2025, its value is supposed to exceed 53.45 billion dollars, which is less than a tenth of the global household appliance market – which means there is room to grow.
Who would want to throng around supermarket shelves and queue for the cashier if all the produce could be waiting at home, as ordered by the smart fridge?
But we can take the idea of this not so distant future even further. At some point, your smart fridge will be linked to shopping centres. The users won’t even have to pay subscription fees; sellers will want the new clients.
For example a user will enter into an agreement with three local sellers from whom the smart fridge will order produce, and stock itself based on the owner's established habits or special orders. The fridge will create its own shopping list and buy items online, from the seller who will offer the best price for the desired produce.
The internet of things, in combination with artificial intelligence, will undoubtedly reward the subscription economy and change our everyday habits. Who would want to queue for the cashier if all the food can be waiting at home – properly stored and chilled?