The Myth of the “Smart” Fridge


Published on

The smart fridge is the cliché people usually refer to when discussing the Internet of things. I will use this mythical smart fridge of the future to reveal insights about the technology we will need to use as we design products for the Internet of Things.

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Productivity Future Vision (2011)
  • A pack of chewing gum purchased in 1974 started a chain reaction that led to this newest phase of the digital revolution we call the Internet of things. A revolution that will enable the future smart fridge.
  • Image By:
  • The Internet of Things refers to uniquely identifiable objects or “things” that have a digital presence. There are two main categories of these objects: Identified Objects and Connected Devices. These objects or devices can be connected to one another (to create a digital ecosystem), as well as to the internet. Hence, the name, Internet of Things.
  • This slim, stylish device is with you all the time. During the day, it tracks steps, distance, and calories burned. At night, it tracks your sleep cycle and wakes you silently in the morning. Just check out the lights to see how you stack up against your personal goal. It’s the motivation you need to get out and be more active.
  • CubeSensors are small, cordless and connected devices that continuously measure temperature, humidity, noise, light, air quality and barometric pressure for every room, they can even pick up unwanted vibrations that shake up your building.
  • iDoorCam is a WiFi enabled digital doorbell that allows you to see hear and speak to the person at your door no matter what place you are at or what you are doing. Easy to install (it attaches to your current doorbells wires) the iDoorCam connects to your home internet through WiFi. When a visitor rings the doorbell, the device sends an alert to one or several house members and each person can accept or ignore the call.
  • Whether you’re on the go, working late at the office or out of town on vacation, just open up the Pintofeed app and feed your pet with a tap of a button. Pintofeed will also learn about your pet’s typical feeding times and automatically create a schedule to dispense food.
  • International courier giant FedEx has released a new tracking device and web service for packages. Called SenseAware, it keeps tabs on the temperature (Verify the temperature of sensitive shipments, and receive timely notifications if the temperature leaves a specified range.), location and other vital signs of a package - including when it's opened and whether it was tampered with along the way.
  • The fridge is the most justifiable appliance in our home. It keeps our food fresh.
  • In 1998 the first fridge prototype was displayed. It boosted more computing power than most home PCs.
  • In 2003 after 50 Prototypes . LG finally released this first multimedia fridge. This product failed for two main reasons. The first reason is that for $20,000 people had a choice either to buy the fridge or send their kids to college.The second reason it failed was because of the story. Some descriptions emphasized the fridge capabilities as a media player, but that did not clarify the advantages of a fridge as a media player.
  • Putting two things together is not necessarily results in a single even better thing. To merge these two technologies was easy. But to explain in terms that make sense… why they should be merged that was harder. Storytelling is a key factor in user experience design.
  • What makes this fridge smart?
  • The interface allows you to take important notes like "HI"
  • Shop from your fridge... Is that the smart thing?Keep track of your food by scanning each product you put in.
  • A problem
  • The solution?
  • Our fridge looks like this, it's a mess
  • If you were going to put all your eggs in one basket, you’d want it to be this one. Part of the Quirky + GE line of products, the Egg Minder tells your Wink app the number of eggs left in your tray, and when the oldest one got there. You can check your egg tray while you’re at the store, so you’ll never be in a scramble for a good egg again. A light sensor detects when you open the fridge door, and an LED light highlights the oldest egg. Now that’s over-easy!
  • Convenience is a strong differentiator, and consumers will tend to adopt technology that is most convenient to their way of life. If Smart Fridge users have to scan items manually, or interact with a screen while placing food items into the fridge, the Smart Fridge will become a novelty and the added “smart” functionality will scarcely be used. That would be a shame.
  • So realistically, what could a Smart Fridge of the future do for us? The core functionality of the Smart Fridge, beyond the four assumptions I reviewed earlier, is to maintain, with minimum effort, an inventory list of perishable food items and their expiry dates. And when I say minimum effort, I mean no effort at all. In fact, users of the Smart Fridge will not have to change any behavior to maintain this inventory list. They would just keep using the fridge, as they've been doing for centuries since the first fridge was invented.
  • defines the abbreviation as "Refers to any electronic device that uses radio waves to facilitate the communication of data for the purpose of identification, and sometimes to locate and/or sense the condition(s), of animate and inanimate objects."
  • This is where RFID technology and the Internet of Things starts to kick in. RFID technology will eventually replace the barcode, therefore any product that has a barcode today will have an RFID tag in the future. This includes most of the food products we place in our fridge. Every product will have a unique identifier that will represent the product name and the expiry date. The smart fridge will have an RFID reader embedded in every shelf. This reader will scan for RFID tags every time the refrigerator door is opened and closed.
  • RFID tags are affixed to assets. Each has a unique numerical identifier so differentiation is possible. It is common for the RFID tag IDentifier to contain the Serialized Global Trading Identification Number (SGTIN) of the item to which it is affixed. This allows differentiation of identical items. - See more at:
  • Just to recap, a Barcode Object (or Identified Object) is basically any retail item that uses a barcode for identification. In the future, these items will carry an RFID tag instead of a barcode, giving each item its own digital presence that will allow it to be connected to a network.
  • This technology will enable consumers to shop without standing in a checkout line. Simply by placing items into an RFID-enabled cart, the consumer will know the total cost of his groceries and will be able to pay with a swipe on a phone and a smile.
  • RFID technology is already in use in the retail fashion industry, as you can see in this video. The fashion industry is embracing RFID because it simply a better way to keep track of and manage inventory, specifically on higher value products like shoes or suits.
  • Stanley InnerSpace SpaceTRAX® plus RFIDThis technology is already here. Smart Cabinets or RFID Cabinetsare used to keep track of high value products in a wide range of markets, including healthcare, medical device, biotechnology, and security. Smart Cabinet users first identify themselves with a personal key card card to open the door. Then they remove any item from the shelf. Of course, all items in the Smart Cabinet have RFID tags attached to them. Information is captured in real-time so managers always know what they have in stock.
  • What about fruits and vegetables or cooked food, you may ask? How can the Smart Fridge track these? And my answer is, it won’t. We don’t really need to track everything in our fridge. I also don’t think that we should rely so heavily on technology in every facet of our lives. The average person remembers when he cooked and placed leftover pasta in his fridge. If he needs to, he can always manually add this data or create a reminder about the expiry date for himself. Using the Smart Fridge should be effortless, and smart functionality should not try to change behaviors or take over our lives.
  • The Wi-Fi Plant Sensor measures soil moisture, light intensity and temperature. Using the built-in Wi-Fi module, the data is sent to the Koubachi cloud, where it is analyzed by the Koubachi Plant Care Engine based on scientific plant care models developed in cooperation with biologists. The plant owner is provided ith detailed care instructions regarding watering, fertilizing, misting, temperature and light through push notifications or email.
  • Similar to Nest, The Learning Thermostat, a thermostat that learns household users and their use patterns, the Smart Fridge of the future will also learn. This is what will make it smart. It will learn and record our average food consumption.
  • When no one is around, Nest learns to turn the heat down. When you come home from work, it knows that the heat should go back up. After the first few weeks, it learns when you come home from work and can turn the heat up before you arrive so that you come home to a warm house.
  • So, for example, if we replace a milk carton every three days, the Smart Fridge will understand how much milk is left inside the carton, on average, and can send us alerts when we are low. Over time, we will be able to see the patterns of our food consumption, we can determine if we are eating healthy, or we can monitor food waste due to expired products. We will also be able to see how much we spend on our food and thus better manage our household budget.
  • The average lifetime of a fridge is approximately fifteen years. The average lifetime of a smart device like a phone or a tablet is approximately three years. Any proposed solution should take durability of the components into account and allow future software updates and an easy way to replace or update the hardware in case of a failure. 
  • Network connectivity is reaching more and more into the physical world. This is potentially transformative – allowing every object and service in the world to talk to one other—and to their users—through any networked interface; where online services are the connective tissue of the physical world and where physical objects are avatars of online services. It’s a world where objects know who owns them and can tell the world where they are. A world where ‘things’ are services, and where their functions can be strung together in daisy chains across the planet. Now the only question is how we make it useful and comprehensible for normal people…
  • Once installed on your existing deadbolt, August simply uses a Bluetooth LE connection with your smartphone to lock and unlock the door. Whether a guest comes to stay, the dog walker is scheduled, or a delivery is expected, the August app can be used to send a virtual key that will open the door at your specified time, tailoring access according to the person.
  • On June 26, 1974, the first UPC bar code was scanned on a package of Wrigley’s chewing gum at a Marsh supermarket in Ohio.
  • On June 26, 1974, the first UPC bar code was scanned on a package of Wrigley’s chewing gum at a Marsh supermarket in Ohio.
  • The Myth of the “Smart” Fridge

    1. 1. The Myth of the “Smart” Fridge (and The Internet of Things) #WebExpo
    2. 2. @xgmediaAvi Itzkovitch UI/UX Designer
    3. 3. 1974 Troy, Ohio
    4. 4. Connected Devices Identified Objects
    6. 6. Flex - Make fitness a lifestyle.
    7. 7. TweetPee: Huggies sends a tweet when baby's wet
    8. 8. CubeSensors – Improving indoor living.
    9. 9. iDoorCam - WiFi enabled Digital Doorbell
    10. 10. Pintofeed – Remotely feed your pet using your phone.
    11. 11. FedEx SenseAware - A tracking device for packages
    12. 12. 1998: The V-sync Internet Refrigerator. “With a speedy Pentium II microprocessor and huge hard drive, it packs more computing power than most home PCs, and has separate compartments for fruit and vegetables.”
    13. 13. 2003: LG's Digital Multimedia Side-By- Side Fridge Freezer with LCD Display "It's the ultimate in kitchen technology with a built-in MP3 player, e-mail and video mail using a built-in camera and microphone. Check on the latest news and weather - all without leaving the kitchen. And it's great for storing food too."
    14. 14. ?
    15. 15. 2012: Samsung's T9000 Smart Refrigerator
    16. 16. LG Smart Refrigerator
    17. 17. People go to the store and buy a third batch of spring onions because they forgot they already had them.“ --KURT JOVAIS, SAMSUNG'S VICE PRESIDENT OF HOME APPLIANCES
    18. 18. "Smart fridge? Idiot fridge, more like...No one wants the obligation of keeping their fridge informed unless they're seriously short on inter- personal relationships" --SUSIE STEINER, A HOUSE AND HOME BLOGGER FOR THE GUARDIAN.
    19. 19. Egg Minder – The Smart Egg Tray
    20. 20. Convenience is a strong differentiator, and consumers will tend to adopt technology that is most convenient to their way of life.
    21. 21. Connected Devices Identified Objects
    23. 23. RFID Radio Frequency Identification
    24. 24. RFID Tags RFID Reader RFID Information Processing Systems
    25. 25. RFID technology is the conduit between the physical world and the digital world. It allows physical objects to be wirelessly identified and differentiated by computers.
    26. 26. Barcode Objects
    28. 28. Smart Cabinet Stanley InnerSpace SpaceTRAX® plus RFI
    30. 30. If you're having that much trouble keeping track of your food and where it's stored, you're buying too much food.
    31. 31. Koubachi – Wi-Fi Plant Sensor gives your plant a voice
    33. 33. Nest - The Learning Thermostat
    35. 35. 56 % 27 %
    36. 36. DOES IT NEED A SCREEN?
    37. 37. August – A Safe, Simple and Social Smart Lock Set to Revolutionize Home Access
    38. 38. 1974 Troy, Ohio
    39. 39. 1974 - 8:01AM Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio
    40. 40. 1974 - 8:01AM Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio Cashier Sharon Buchanan (30 yrs later)
    41. 41. 10-pack of Juicy Fruit, Smithsonian Institution
    42. 42.
    43. 43. Designing with Sensors
    44. 44. Thank you  Avi Itzkovitch @xgmedia