Table of Contents
A smart fridge is no ordinary icebox because it lets you control it using your mobile app. It’s kind of like a mega-gadget that will also connect to other smart devices in your home. The intuitive touch-screen display, voice controls, LED lights, user-controlled cooling options, and transparent glass panel add to the interactive experience.
The following are the top five reasons to buy a smart fridge.
1. Remotely Monitor and Control Your Smart Fridge
A smart fridge can put you in charge by giving you maximum control of the kitchen, your favorite recipes, and groceries. Here is what you can do with the appliance:
- You can program the smart fridge to read your favorite recipe step by step as you prepare a meal. A lot of newer models have speakers and a video screen to guide you. Instead of using the touch screen, use a mobile app to replay cooking instructions and change the volume when needed.
- You can view the contents of the smart fridge using in-built cameras that offer a 360-degree perspective of stored items. For added convenience, these cameras can zoom in to read food labels and RFID tags.
- A smart fridge can help create grocery lists that can easily sync with your smartphone. It can do this using AI-equipped cameras that can accurately identify food items inside the fridge. The list is automatically sent to your mobile phone. This is a very handy feature as it lets you plan for grocery shopping when returning from work.
- Individual family members can use the smart fridge to create their own user profiles in the system. The smart fridge will recognize such preferences by sending personal notes and a to-do list to each member. The feature ensures that your favorite snack or drink never gets out of stock.
- To keep everything fresh and in prime condition, you can customize the temperature of an individual drawer or compartment. It means that there is no need to fiddle with small gauges and buttons anymore. You can remotely change the temperature settings whenever you need an ice-cold drink during the scorching summer heat. Temperature settings are equally useful in getting alerts when the temperature goes beyond a set range, thereby reducing the risk of food spoilage.
- Smart whiteboards on the front panel can help families leave important messages, notify other members, and leave important reminders. You can write and draw on the whiteboard using your fingers. There is also an option to add emojis and resize them. When in a hurry, use the record feature to leave a message on the whiteboard.
Ever since smart fridges went mainstream, they are increasingly used for commercial purposes. Most manufacturers do not distinguish between home and commercial appliances, which means that you can also put your smart fridge to commercial use. Here are a few extremely beneficial features of a smart fridge that can help both homeowners and businesses:
- Some models of smart fridges are equipped with predictive maintenance features. The function enables users to monitor and control the most critical components of the fridge. Digital and analog sensors attached to the device help detect problems and identify failed components. The smart fridge will continuously collect such maintenance data and send it to your mobile device so you can take action before it’s too late.
- Most smart fridges come with an in-built performance monitoring system. The performance monitoring feature allows homeowners and businesses to analyze power consumption and operational efficiency. Since these performance parameters are often hidden from plain view, smart fridges can identify such issues to help save on energy costs.
By now, you should have some idea of the value you can get from a smart fridge as far as controlling it remotely and having it perform monitoring functions. Below are four additional reasons you should invest in smart fridge technology.
2. Use Voice Controls
You can talk to your smart fridge, and it will listen to you. The smart technology is already integrated into Samsung models, LG fridges, and a couple of other well-known brands.
For instance, new LG models can automatically open their doors on voice command. At first, it may seem a useless feature; however, think of those moments when you have a handful of groceries that you need to place on the floor before opening the door.
Controlling the fridge using voice control has many benefits. You can ask the smart fridge to show you what’s inside it using a simple voice command. You can also read messages, review recipes, and receive relevant information on food items.
If you love spending time in the kitchen, the smart fridge can offer good company by playing your favorite music while you’re busy. It can give you a morning brief on things to do. You can also receive the latest weather and news information.
There is no doubt that smart fridges are becoming smarter by incorporating all of the latest Internet of Things products and services. For voice commands, LG primarily uses Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant while Samsung has its own version, Bixby Voice. It’s expected that newer models of Samsung will include Google Assistant in its Samsung Smart Things brand.
3. Keep Track of Expiration Dates
Every year, we waste thousands of tons of food because it expires before it is consumed. Food wastage costs us both in terms of money and the environmental impact. Therefore, keeping track of expiration dates is critical as it saves food and allows us to consume fresh food faster.
Fortunately, smart fridges are equipped with the latest image recognition software that can read food labels. When the food is near expiration, the smart fridge can automatically notify you by sending alerts to your phone.
Some models come with a complete grocery management system. Using the latest technology, smart fridges can not only read the bar code but also determine the weight, freshness, quantity, or any other measure of the food products shelved in the refrigerator. As a result, the fridge can send information about the freshness and quantity of the food directly to your mobile phone.
So, how do they do it? It’s done using multiple sensor plates, infrared sensors, and built-in cameras with image recognition software. As soon as something is placed inside a compartment, the system starts scanning the product label. The content is either compared to the available data or it’s shared with the company’s existing database via the internet.
Based on the results of data collection, the smart fridge notifies its owner regarding the quantity of the food, remaining inventory, expiration dates, and the perceived freshness of the food. The data can help you consume food when it’s at its peak of freshness as well as keep an inventory of the food you have.
If your fridge doesn’t have all these features, you can buy and install a FridgeCam. The gadget will work seamlessly with almost any type of smart fridge. When connected to a mobile app, it allows users to receive notifications of expiry dates. It even offers advice on how to use the food if it’s near expiration.
A FridgeCam is ideal for controlling the temperature of individual compartments. You can also get alerts if there is a sudden drop in the temperature inside the appliance. Additional features include app notifications when a particular food item is removed from the fridge and auto-replenish of the inventory from your favorite online grocer.
4. Save Energy
While fridges have retained many of their original features, they have certainly become more energy efficient over time. For instance, a fridge bought in the ’90s consumed over 1,250 kilowatt-hours annually. Nowadays, energy usage has gone down to 500 kilowatt-hours per year. Similarly, a smart fridge with all the latest gadgets may consume less than 400 kilowatt-hours annually.
As of this writing, some companies are using highly efficient linear compression technology. The technology is still in its infancy, but it will greatly enhance the performance of the existing smart fridge and further improve its energy efficiency.
Traditional compressors use oil as a lubricant. However, the linear compressor will improve efficiency by using only one friction point instead of the four friction points used by traditional compressors. It means that it will have the same effect as planting 16 trees.
Apart from relying on compressor technology, smart fridges are designed for optimal cooling. ENERGY STAR-rated smart fridges use a multi-air flow system to maintain humidity and temperature levels, keeping food fresh for a longer period. New models of smart fridges also offer door-cooling technology, which ensures a steady supply of cold air to anything placed on door bins.
5. Connect the Fridge to Your Mobile Device
Buying a smart fridge makes sense only if you’re able to control it using a mobile app. The mobile app will help you take charge of the digital functions of the fridge once you download the app to your mobile device of choice.
Most smart fridge apps are designed to use plug-and-play technology, which means that there is no learning curve. After the download, you just need to sync the app with your smart fridge using an available internet connection. Synchronization is easy because the app will automatically scan for the fridge. Once the connection is made, you can start using all the available functions.
Here is how a smartphone app connection can help you get the most from your daily life:
- Meal preparation: The smartphone app allows you to create a grocery list and set reminders for daily meals.
- Kitchen entertainment: You can download your favorite music on the mobile app and let the smart fridge play tunes while you’re busy cooking. It can even read your favorite recipes and share ready-made meal plans.
- Remote viewing: Using the app, you can view the contents of the fridge from your office. It will even help replenish groceries when required.
Is Buying a Smart Refrigerator Worth the Hype?
A smart fridge costs more money than buying a traditional fridge. Therefore, choose wisely because if you’re not going to use its smart functions, the perceived value of the fridge diminishes quickly.
For the best price-value proposition, it makes sense to buy a smart fridge if you actively spend time in the kitchen or your family is eager to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Buying a smart fridge just for the sake of fun is only beneficial if you have spare cash to spend on such a pricey gadget. Also, remember that smart fridges are designed to help organize food items. If you’re too lazy to keep everything in order, don’t bother buying the smart fridge.
Still interested? Review the info above and try to get as many features as possible with your smart fridge. It is also wise to spend a couple of dollars more for a smart fridge that has practical features such as internal cameras and sensors. It will give you the best value for your money.