Following the initial tease last year, LG have formally announced their Smart Instaview fridge at CES 2017 - but only one feature truly sticks out amongst a sea of pointless additions.
This signature product features a 29-inch touchscreen on the door, powered by WebOS to deliver a wide of features. These include the ability to browse the web, do online shopping and even play music.
I don't need to repeat myself on this (the problem was addressed last September when they packed Windows 10 onto a fridge), but so many of these features are 100% over-engineered and totally pointless.
No, I don’t want to browse the web on my fridge door, or control my music playback, or even sort out my online shop. I am not in anyway complaining about the feat achieved with this - or the potential helpfulness - but companies should really stop trying to make way too many products that do the exact same thing.
Just believe in the fact that as creatures of habit, we’ve already picked up the simplest and most common sensical way of performing these interactions - taking a phone out of our pockets.
However, aside of these, there is one really interesting addition and a killer app that blew my mind with it’s ingenious simplicity.
Firstly, they’ve partnered with Amazon to bring Alexa to the fridge, allowing for you to speak and request things from your fridge - such as the weather, to order new items or even to order an Uber. This goes back to the pointless comment made above, but at least it’s a fun gimmick of sorts.
Secondly, something that they call the “Fresh Tracker.” With two knocks, the display becomes transparent and you can tag countdown clocks to each item - helping you know when things will go out of date. These clocks will even ping your smartphone with a warning.
This, to me, is a sweet spot for smart home technology - something that is so insanely simple yet immensely helpful. According to studies, 37% of people have found an item in their fridge that is over two months out of date. I’m certainly in that 37%, so would love this on my fridge!
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I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.