What is a Smart Fridge?
Are you ready for the next-generation fridge? Introducing the smart fridge – it’s good looking, consumes less electricity and emits fewer emissions. But that’s not all – the smart fridge also boasts hi-tech features, like Wi-Fi connectivity, touch screens, online apps, cameras, and more…
The origin of the smart fridge
Two items most of us cannot live without – computers and fridges. Spurred by the idea of combining them, refrigeration manufacturers introduced the very first smart fridge in 1998. With the explosion of the internet, a fridge with computer screen and internet connectivity followed the next year – users could order groceries via the Internet from their connected refrigerator. The smart fridge trend, though, didn’t quite catch on. Until now, that is. Constant advances in technology, and the rise of the internet of things, have put smart fridges on the cusp of going mainstream. We can look forward, not just to chilled food and beverages, but fridges with integrated web browsers, multi-media centres, e-mail, radio, TV, video, MP3 players, pop-up keyboards, and more…
What do smart fridges offer?
Earlier this year saw the showcasing of fridges that are able to sense what products they store, as well as to inform users when certain foods are running low. Other features of today’s smart fridges include touchscreens or built-in tablets for TV streaming. These screens feature a variety of apps – some to control fridge temperatures and lights, and others for easy online ordering of groceries. If you happen to be at the supermarket and forgot to bring your grocery list, no problem – upon request, cameras inside the refrigerator can send a picture of your fridge’s contents straight to your phone. You’ll also be able to monitor power usage, temperatures, and humidity as well check if that special bottle of wine is perfectly chilled – all via handy smartphone apps!
What might this mean for future commercial refrigeration?
With the way technology is constantly evolving, these advances might soon spread to supermarket refrigeration lines. There’s already talk of smart fridges that will record and alert store managers when food is removed from the fridge or even when it’s nearing its expiry date, for example by recording information about products – either by manual inventory input or via RFID tags – and automatically emailing expiration reminders. Imagine what this could mean for supermarket chains wanting to keep track of inventory and minimise food wastage!
Refrigeration for the future
Just Refrigeration continues to monitor technological trends which impact on the refrigeration industry, in order to deliver the most up-to-date commercial fridge equipment to our market. Contact us to chat about our latest range of island freezers, remote refrigeration cabinets, wall chillers, remote cabinets, cold rooms, and more.