Technology keeps on getting smarter, from smartphones to tablets to T.V.’s, companies are boasting of how smart their latest products are.  What will they think of next?  If you are not up to speed on the latest smart gadgets, then you probably haven’t heard of the Smart refrigerator by Samsung.  The “Family Hub” by Samsung the company claims is a revolutionary 4 door flex refrigerator that has Wi-Fi and a 21.5” LED touchscreen, whatever happened to posting notes, pictures and kids’ report cards with magnets the old fashioned way?  Now with the new Smart Refrigerator you can things in a different way than before.   

The biggest most innovative feature of the Samsung Family Hub certainly is the large sized tablet on the topside of the right door.  You may be thinking this is a bit outlandish, but the presence of a tablet would cut down on the clutter of magneting notes to your fridge and also lessen the possibility of losing important reminders.

But once you have made the switch, you won’t be able to use your magnets anymore as the stainless steel front is non-magnetic.   The design of the fridge is a standard flex four door, the Wi-Fi touchscreen tablet is loaded with 4gb of memory, 18 apps which include weather, news, calendars, Pandora, groceries by MasterCard and stick notes plus other features all running on the company’s Tizen operating system.  In the fridge door there is a built in speaker that lets you listen to your music and videos and you can also connect Bluetooth speakers if you want to go all out all the way in turning your fridge into a sound system.  Also very convenient but perhaps more useful are the three cameras that record photos of your fridge every time the door shuts, the photos you can access from your smartphone which provide a look at what you have and don’t have stocked whenever you may be shopping.   The fridge’s tablet includes a Smart Things smart home control app which allows you to use and access your smart home devices. 

The Family Hub’s tablet has the capability of syncing calendars, sharing uploaded photos, drawing and writing notes all on one screen.  It’s “Morning Brief” is pre-loaded to help get your day started with weather, news and traffic information.  The Sticky Notes and photos app also function through smartphone apps so that you can send photos and notes to the fridge from anywhere whenever you need to.  Your kids can use the “Paper Roll” app to write notes and doodle on the free drawing space.  In addition to the Pandora app, the Smart Hub also has the TuneIn radio app that you can use while in the kitchen.

The Smart refrigerator is still a refrigerator but with more.  The picture taking capability not only helps keep a tab on the foods you have by automatic photos but also allows you to place sticker images on separate items in the fridge so that you can keep track of when food items will expire. 

Should you buy this fridge?  Perhaps, but as is always the case with computer gadgets, apps can and likely will eventually crash at one time or another and sometimes you may have to reboot just like you would a regular computer.  If you are expecting a flawless machine, you probably shouldn’t but the Smart Hub is certainly packed with features most people don’t have in their kitchens and fridges.  The fridge will keep your food cold as needed just like a normal fridge would but the tablet, apps and features make this kitchen smart gadget neat and convenient and may be a pleasant change to your kitchen on a day to day basis.  Meanwhile interested buyers should keep in mind that the tablet may become outdated as refrigerators generally last a decade while your tablet you may replace every few years.  But, the Smart Hub is ideal for families and is meant to help organize soccer games, choir practice and PTA meetings while keeping the family fed.  Pricewise, the Smart Hub costs between $5,000 and $6,000 which is much more than a regular standard fridge, even the pricier ones.  What the Smart Hub and Samsung have to offer might not be truly necessary but those who can afford the technology may find it very useful.

Published by Ville Iso-Ahola