Yesterday at Samsung’s cultural center in NYC, the company unveiled a new refrigerator that is packed with features to make cooking, grocery shopping and eating simpler than ever before. While it’s easy to assume all the action happens on the 21.5 inch LCD screen affixed to the front, one of the most innovative features is actually on the inside.
The new refrigerator, which they’re calling the Samsung Family Hub, comes with three cameras installed inside that connect to both your smartphone and the front screen to bring you two incredibly useful features.
First, the connection between the cameras and your mobile device allows you to peek inside remotely. Never again will you be in the grocery store struggling to remember if you need to pick up milk. Then there’s the cameras’ second use, which helps you track freshness using a virtual inventory. When you bring up the cameras’ image of the contents of your fridge on the LCD screen on the front, you can easily drag and drop virtual labels that indicate when the food will go bad.
Despite the usefulness of the cameras and the luxuries they provide, Samsung has emphasized that the Family Hub represents a shift to appliances that are interactive rather than solely functional. “It boiled down to three things: food, family and entertainment,” said Katie Cheng, Samsung’s VP of marketing for appliances, who added that people go in and out of their refrigerators 40 times a day.
For that reason, they’re marketing the new appliance as a family hub that helps families communicate, be entertained and plan and shop for groceries in addition to keeping food fresh. From the LCD screen on the front, you can order groceries instantly from services like FreshDirect and Groceries by MasterCard. You can also browse the Internet, connect to online radios like Pandora, and if you have a Samsung TV in the home, you can easily cast whatever you’re watching on it to the fridge so you won’t miss a second if you’re walking in and out of rooms.
The screen also seamlessly syncs to mobile devices, allowing you to digitally post calendar events, notes (such as grocery lists) and photos to be displayed. Basically everything you used to put on the fridge with a magnet can now make its way there from your phone.
“We felt the need to bring the kitchen and the family room together,” John Herrington, SVP and general manager of home appliances for Samsung America, said.
The Family Hub is now available for $5,999.99 for the counter-depth size and $5,799.99 for the full-depth size.