We moved into a new home this past year. With a new home comes old furniture we got rid of and new ones we bought as replacements. While we kept most of our old things, we decided to buy some new ones for a fresh start.
While we love our old fridge and we’ve had it for years now, it seems like it’s too small for us now and can’t accommodate the amount of food we regularly shop for.
For the longest time, I’ve been keeping an eye out for a new and much bigger refrigerator as a replacement. As I was researching and reading on different old and new models, I came across smart refrigerators.
If you also want to find out more about the home appliance, read on below!
What is a Smart Refrigerator?
A smart refrigerator is a kitchen home appliance that can connect over to your home WiFi network. This WiFi connection opens up the refrigerator to so many more functions and features that can make day-to-day life much easier.
By connecting over to your home’s WiFi network, a smart refrigerator instantly becomes part of your smart home ecosystem. This also allows for remote operation and control wherever you are in the house, even if you aren’t at home. By having multiple smart devices connect to the same network, they’re all interwoven to one central system and can help make life easier.
Though refrigerators have been around serving households for decades, LG came out with the first smart or internet refrigerator – the Internet Digital DIOS – in June 2000.
Since then, countless new technologies and innovations have been made available to the public.
What are Common Smart Refrigerator Features?
If you’re thinking of getting a smart refrigerator for your household, we have below some of the more common features you can expect from one. Keep in mind though, these features will vary according to the brand, model, and unit you choose so not all smart refrigerators out there have the same features/
Smart refrigerators connect to your home WiFi network. This is what gives them the edge over traditional fridges in the market.
When a device connects to a home network, it instantly becomes part of your home’s central control system. This allows you to control it remotely, wherever you are in the house.
A WiFi-enabled refrigerator also opens up for a wide array of other smart features like internet browsing, looking up recipes, and access to other smart devices in your smart home ecosystem.
One major feature that sets smart refrigerators from traditional ones is the touchscreen interface.
Smart refrigerators have a touchscreen interface on its fridge door. Some may have smaller screens but many smart fridges now have larger touchscreens.
The touchscreen is where most of the magic and high-tech functions happen. You can access the built-in browser (if there is one), look up recipes, receive cooking guides, and even search for videos you can watch while you’re in the kitchen.
You can also control most operation settings right from the touchscreen.
Remote smart fridge operation and voice assistance
Like most smart devices, a smart refrigerator will grant you easy access to control and operate it remotely once connected to your home network. This means you can control your fridge remotely wherever you are in the house, even if you aren’t home!
If you have a smart home ecosystem complete with voice assistant technology like the Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, you can also control your fridge with it. This offers complete hands-free control, as long as you’re within range of your voice assistant.
Expiry date tracking
Another major selling point of smart refrigerators is they can track and keep information on the expiry date on food you put inside for storage.
Many store-bought food items have their own barcodes or RFID tags. When they do come with those tags, you can simply scan it either with a special feature on the smart fridge or with an app on your smartphone. Otherwise, you can simply input these details manually.
This smart feature gives you an inventory of everything you have inside your smart fridge. This is very helpful to help you avoid wasting any food.
You can also get customized alerts that tell you when something is close to its expiration date so you can get to cooking and eating it.
Most smart fridges come with a built-in browser. With it you can browse the web for recipes, cooking guides, and everything in between. Now, you don’t have to bring a separate gadget into the kitchen while preparing food.
Smart refrigerators often come with interior cameras. This lets you see inside your fridge when you need to.
When you’re grocery shopping and would like to check if you’ve run out of something, simply open the associated app and check on the interior camera in real-time.
Get customized alerts
Like with most smart devices, you can get customized alerts straight to your phone.
Many smart refrigerators have sensors on their doors so when they don’t close fully, you can get alerts on this. If something is blocking the airway inside your fridge, an alert will also let you know.
Some units also alert owners when a component needs maintenance, cleaning, or changing,
Coordinated family calendars and schedules
Some smart refrigerators also allow family members to coordinate calendars and schedules and you can access these right on your fridge’s touchscreen interface!
Like with a regular fridge, you can leave notes and memos on your fridge for the rest of your family or housemates to see. You can use this to leave reminders or make a digital grocery list for your next shopping schedule.
Recipe and cooking guide
Smart refrigerators can eliminate all the guesswork when it comes to cooking. With your unit, you can easily look up recipes and cooking guides for your meals.
With smart refrigerators that have a built-in speaker system, you can even have it read recipes out loud for you!
Smart refrigerators are smart in a way it can self-regulate temperature use and settings. Depending on your use and the item stored inside, it can smartly adjust temperature setting, whatever is appropriate for your needs. This helps homeowners save energy and save on utility bills.
Mirroring and casting
Some units also allow users to mirror and cast videos from another device. If you’re watching a show or a recipe from your phone, you can easily cast it to show up on your fridge’s built-in screen.
Access across other smart appliances
Because your smart home devices and appliances connect to the same network, this gives you access across most of them.
If you have a video doorbell on your front door and someone rings the bell, you can access the live feed and two-way communication right from your fridge.
Common Concerns for Smart Refrigerators
As more and more households opt for a smart home ecosystem, more and more brands and manufacturers are coming out with their own version of a smart fridge. However, there are still some concerns people have.
For one, a smart refrigerator is pricier than your standard refrigerator. Some prefer not to spend the extra bucks for the smart features.
The question of whether it’s a worthy investment lies solely on the buyer. Though the smart features are not a necessity, they do help make day-to-day life much easier.
It’s not everyday you see news of someone hacking a smart refrigerator, but it can happen.
Because a smart refrigerator connects to your home WiFi network, there is a potential risk of hacking. When this happens, your other devices and information on them are also at risk.
But fear not – as long as you follow online safety precautions and keep high security passwords across your devices and network, you can avoid this and prevent it from happening.
More than just your traditional fridge, a smart refrigerator does so much more than just store and cool your food supply and be an ice maker.
Like any smart device, a smart refrigerator connects to your home WiFi network. Once connected, it becomes part of a central control system. This gives homeowners the ability to remotely control and operate them. Voice assistance technology is also available for most units.
They have a touchscreen interface where you can configure settings and where most of the magic happens.
On the screen, there is a built-in browser for looking up recipes and cooking guides. You also have access to shared calendars to see your family’s schedules which could affect daily meal plans.
Inside the fridge is an interior camera so you see what you still have and what you need to buy. You can also keep track of your food’s expiration dates either by scanning tags or manually inputting the info.
Other common smart features include a digital whiteboard, mirroring and casting, self-regulating temperature, and access to other smart devices in your network.
And that has been our guide on everything smart refrigerator!