With all of the exciting technology at CES 2016 this week, including smart TVs, HDR and home entertainment systems like Dish's Hopper 3, it's hard to believe a refrigerator would manage to capture any of the attention.
But it has, and not just because it has a jaw-dropping price tag of $5,000.
Samsung's Family Hub refrigerator is an enormous four-door smart device with a 21.5-inch 1080p Gorilla Glass-covered touchscreen equipped with high-tech food shopping features, a family communication center, IoT and even entertainment.
Samsung says it's looking into adding Alexa — Amazon's cloud-connected technological assistant — to the Family Hub, giving it the same kind of functionality found in the Amazon Echo smart speaker.
This isn't the first stab at a connected fridge we've seen from Samsung. The company first introduced a connected refrigerator back in 2012, but neither that model nor the one that came after it were particularly well-received. Maybe the third time will be the charm.
Built-in cameras take a photo of the inside of the fridge every time the door is closed so consumers can always see what they have wherever they go on their smartphone.
Samsung also partnered with MasterCard to offer a high-tech online shopping experience. Using the app on the refrigerator’s touchscreen, consumers can easily find and purchase items from multiple retailers, directly from their kitchen, all finished with a single checkout process that accepts U.S.-issued credit and debit cards.
Family Communication Center
The whole family can write notes, post photos (even a selfie or two taken with the refrigerator camera), share calendars and even craft artwork right on the refrigerator’s touchscreen, or using their smartphone if they are away.
Internet of Things (IoT) Enabled
The Family Hub will leverage Samsung's IoT services as a connected Samsung product. For example, consumers will be able to check that their home’s doors are locked and turn off the lights right from the Family Hub screen.
The device comes with built-in stereo speakers, music and television streaming and Bluetooth connectivity. Users can stream content right from their Samsung Smart TVs and even watch movies or TV shows right from the touchscreen … assuming watching TV in the middle of the kitchen becomes a cool thing to do.
The Family Hub Refrigerator is expected to be available this coming spring.