Remember the refrigerators of your youth? Far from sleek, shiny, or Internet-connected, they were at least magnetic, which meant they doubled as the home’s bulletin board for reminders, calendars, and shopping lists. Now that everything is stainless steel, Samsung thinks it has a substitution for those old fridge magnets, by way of a 21.5″ touchscreen on the front of its newest refrigerators.
With a touchscreen that’s larger than most of your average laptops, Samsung’s Family Hub fridge isn’t just a place’s not just a spot for calendars, to-do lists and notes you might’ve slapped on the fridge with the magnets Great Aunt Sally always brings you from her cruises, but includes three built-in cameras that take photos from inside the fridge every time it’s closed. A companion app will also alert users when they’re running low on things like eggs, milk, or whathaveyou.
Which, for people who might forget to check what they’re out of before going to the store, or maybe just want to think about what they’re going to eat before they actually make the move to go get it, could be a handy thing.
Or, if you’re the type that doesn’t actually want to go anywhere to buy groceries, Samsung has partnered with MasterCard for a new “grocery shopping experience” that lets you order food online from either Fresh Direct or Rite Aid, for now, with plans to expand with MyWeb Grocer in the future.
All items end up in one common cart no matter which grocer you use, so shoppers can check out all at once. The fridge accepts all U.S. credit and debit cards, though of course, noted Betty DeVita, chief commercial officer of MasterCard Labs during today’s presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show, MasterCard would love it if you use one of their cards.
On top of those food bells and whistles, there’s also a built-in speaker for playing music that includes Bluetooth so you can play it on other connected speakers in your home, and a TV mirroring capability so you can see what everyone in the living room is watching on the Samsung Smart TV while you’re cooking.
Elsewhere in the world of smart appliances, Samsung introduced a new feature for its front-loading washing machines called AddWash, which, aptly enough, allows users to add something to the washing machine that they’ve forgot by pressing a button. I’m calling it a sock door, because that’s what it is — you left a sock out of the load, and cannot bear to complete the rest of the load knowing that its mate will be clean while it, alas, is not.
And lest you’re worried your child might decide they also need to get into the wash after it’s started going, the feature comes with a child lock.