Do We Really Need A WiFi Refrigerator?
- al b. darned Jun 27, 2011 07:32 PM
I saw an ad for this on TV last night:
All for only $3,500!!! Do we really need something like this? And wouldn't you also need some sort of data plan to access the info?
I think I'll stick to my old fashioned one.
well, we don't "need" ice-makers, built-in filtered water dispensers, or separate temperature-controlled drawers for holding hors d'oeuvre trays and wine either...but "advancements" in refrigerators & freezers (and all kitchen appliances for that matter) stopped being about necessity a long time ago :)
Sign of the times.......
Just bought a new frige w/o WiFi. Looked long and hard for exactly what I wanted at the right price. In doing my search, I won't go so far to say that sales staff were pushing the WiFi, but they weren't shy about touting how wonderful it's features are!
We do, but not for the reasons the unwashed masses seem to want (Sending tweets from the fridge? Gimme a break!) But I would love a networkable fridge that could give me temp/humidity data, remote management, and way to track inventory/shopping lists more effectively...
Since it's Wifi (as opposed to 3G/4G which use the cell phone networks) it would not have a monthly fee...at least not for the actual network connection.
But I would love a networkable fridge that could give me temp/humidity data, remote management...
Is this a problem for you ? I have never had an issue with the fridge controls doing their job. Just "set it and forget it." How, exactly, would you need to "remotely manage" your fridge.
The most anal I get here is external temp readouts of the fridge and freezer boxes on the front of the fridge.
re: al b. darned
That's the thing...I don't know if it's a problem, but having access to that data could be tremendously useful in maximizing efficiency/economy and doing maintenance. For all I know my fridge is a week away from crapping out and I have no way of knowing. If I notice that the compressor is cycling way more frequently than it did 2 weeks ago, I can do something about that before it fails outright. If the relative humidity in the fridge is suddenly dropping maybe that's a sign the door gasket needs to be checked out. It could send me an e-mail if the compressor dies when I'm on vacation so I can have someone empty it out rather than coming home to a house full of rotting food. If it was in a vacation home and you forgot to unplug it before you closed up for the off-season you could log in and shut it down.
It's not so much that any of this is a problem for me, it's just that if they're going to hang excessive tech on an appliance, I want something useful I can do with it! Why would I want to tweet or surf the web or stream music or even look up a recipe from the refrigerator? I can do all that on my phone, my laptop, my tablet, all devices that I can put on the counter right where I'm working. There are so many cool possibilities, but the market seems to drive junk...which would be fine if it were not to the exclusion of the really neat things. If you're going to give me a "networkable fridge" give me a networkable fridge, not a fridge with an iPad glued to the door.
But I am in the minority in feeling this way, most tech consumers just want flash and social networking and no actual utility.
Integration is going to be the key. Once RFID is universal, a fridge could provide accurate instant inventories. Combined with data from the pantry, you could plan your dinner at work knowing exactly what's available and what needs to be picked up on the way home. Plastic containers could use programmable RFID chips and a device (like a label maker) that could be used to "label" them (or a PC attachment). Now all we need is a robot that will cook it all up for you. Or at least, do the mise/prep work so you could dive right in.
People don't generally "need" much at all. Like the computer I'm typing on for example.
Presumably the wifi connectivity allows the device to connect to ones network. There's no need for a data plan with wifi.