Samsung’s made good on the “connected fridge” idea at CES 2016 with the launch of its Family Hub refrigerator, due for release later this year.
The Family Hub is is intended to recapture and reinvent the time in years gone by when the kitchen fridge was the place we’d stick pictures, make note of appointments and share information with the family.
There’s a 21.5-inch touchscreen on the front of the fridge that is subdivided up into panels like calendar, photo sharing, a clock or even music streaming apps like Pandora. It’s controlled by an app that runs on your phone, allows you to upload new pictures and set new appointments to be displayed on the Family Hub’s screen.
Perhaps the niftiest feature of the connected fridge is that it takes a picture of the contents of your fridge with its “inner view” cameras every time you close the door, and you can retrieve the most recent image on your smartphone when you’re at the shop to be sure you don’t buy things you already have or, vice versa, make sure you buy what you need.
You can also run a shared shopping list app on the Family Hub and add items to the list to make sure your designated shopped gets what you need when they do the next shop. Samsung’s also introducing support for a new service, Groceries by Mastercard, that allows you to buy groceries from a number of shops right from the Family Hub. Despite being run by Mastercard, you can use other forms of payment too 😉
Finally, the Family Hub supports Samsung’s SmartThings Internet-of-Things standard, so it can talk to and integrate with other connected devices supporting the standard. We’ve been pretty quiet on SmartThings until now, but Samsung revealed today that the standard is now adopted by some 20,000 developers and around 200 devices.
Samsung says the Family Hub will be available in Spring 2016 – that’ll be a US release and a US date, so Autumn our time. and will be available in counter-depth and full-depth models in traditional stainless steel or black stainless steel colours.