A. Designing a representation of the target system
Based on the problems what we found before, the conception of smart fridge is
easy as a smart householder. The idea of smart fridge is proposed to make users’ live
easier. The main features of smart fridge include foods detection, expiration date
record and notice, shopping list generation, online shopping and recipe
recommendation. Descriptions of each feature are going to be extended in the
Three main part of hardware are going to be used to support this project. Firstly,
the main hardware is the refrigerator. The fridge has a large touch screen on its door,
LED status light, speaker, sensors and video detectors. It also has internet connection
to access the server. The hardware allows users to do interaction directly. Secondly,
the server controls the data exchange between the fridge and the user. The cloud
server makes data flow easier. The manufacture also uses the cloud server to update
firewall and expiration data base. Thirdly, we talk about user’s client. User can use
their devices to get information from the server, whatever they use their personal
computer, tablet, cell phone, and any devices have internet connection.
B. Building objects and actions (defined abstractly and broadly)
The design of “Smart Refrigerator” focuses on improving users’ life quality and
user experience on fresh food shopping and storage. Fridge door is going to be used as
a large display that allows users to do interaction. There is no existing solution in
existed products for users’ needs in detecting foods, automatically generated shopping
lists, and online shopping.
1. Hardware Support
As the description of representation, the whole smart fridge system has three main
objects. The three objects interact with the user, four elements acts to each other and
get the information they need.
2. Main Features
The smart fridge is proposed to have five main features: foods detection,
expiration date record and notice, shopping list generation, online shopping and recipe
recommendation. The function of each feature is described as follows.
l Detect food
The smart refrigerator will generate item list by scanning shopping receipt. When
a user removes an item from refrigerator, the refrigerator will detect the item by
Video Image Detection (VID) technology.
l Record expiration and notice users
An expiration database is built into the refrigerator system. Expiration for each
unique kind of food has been set in the system. After a shopping receipt is scanned,
the system will start to calculate. When an item is close to its expiration date, the
system will notice user.
l Generate shopping list
The system generates shopping list with users’ shopping habits and detecting the
stock, by artificial intelligence. The system concludes a user’s shopping habits by
saving and comparing a user’s shopping receipts.
l Fresh food online shopping function
Connect to e-commerce providers, such as peapods.com and amazonfresh.com,
the system supports online shopping function. The system predicts the food users may
need in the following days, and suggests users to purchase on time.
l Recipe Recommendation
Recipe function helps users to make a good use of the food in fridge. Different
recipes will also help users to improve their cooking skills. Recipes are mainly
generated in three ways, cooking style, foods in fridge and foods expire soon. Users
can set up their cooking style and choose from different recipes. After detecting foods
in the fridge, the fridge will search in its database and then find out healthy recipes
that can make good use of the foods.
C. General proposal of the product’s objects and interactions
1. General Concept, Appearance, and Interface Metaphor
l General Concept:
The main system is built in a refrigerator, supporting touch input method and
some display functions (screen and status lights). Fridge door is going to be used as a
large touch screen that allows users to do interaction. The visible interface is based on
functional design, with an easier interaction with the system. The system not only
allows users to storage and organize food in fridge, but also detect food expiration and
recommend shopping list and recipes for them intelligently. After users confirm
online shipping orders, the system will help them to place the order automatically.
Recipe function helps users to make a good use of the food in fridge, especially the
food expiration date is coming soon.
Data about users shopping habits and food storage are stored in server database,
which provides a reliable backup for the main system. It also provides interaction
intermediary for the user and system. The system can be automatically updated via the
server. The manufacture also update the database (food expiration data, food nutrition
fact data) to the server to make sure the system gets the latest version every day.
l Interface Metaphor:
Fridge display: fridge shelf.
Online shopping function: shopping cart.
2. Physical Components
Screen (fridge door): A large, bright, touchable screen is necessary for a basic
input interface for the system.
LED status light: The LED lights show status in different color. The status
includes food expiration, doors aren’t closed, connect error, etc……
Speaker: The mono speaker provides notice sound (food expiration, and warning
status). It happens when the user open the fridge door.
Door / Video detector / Sensors: The sensors and video detector records the food
with VID (Video identify detection) technology. When user open and close the
door, VID system will auto detect the difference. It also shows the message on
the screen, user needs to confirm. The system also has learning module, it figures
out the difference from the items in its database.