Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Samsung adds AI food management to Family Hub French Door fridges

How much food does your fridge store, and could you use AI to help you manage what’s inside? That’s what Samsung is thinking about with its latest screen-equipped smart fridge.

Open your fridge door and think about what you see: jars of products and condiments opened once and rarely opened again, fruit that you bought and meant to eat but the kids have been a little lacking in enthusiasm for, lots of cheese because cheese is amazing, and a bunch of other things that make up the regular fridge in so many homes.

It’s not unusual to have food in that refrigerated home that isn’t eaten; household food waste in Australia collectively totals around 2.5 million tonnes each year, and no one is perfect. Everyone does it, whether they realise it or not.

While there are definite ways to help curb what’s going on inside each and every fridge, one approach might come down to the gadget storing that food, with Samsung connecting AI to food management in its latest screen-equipped smart fridge.

The idea of the smart fridge isn’t new, but a solid purpose for one has never really been as concrete as you might think. They’ve had screens attached to the door to turn them into a family hub and notes system of sorts, almost like a replacement for a smart display built into the fridge itself, but that may not be a great reason for one.

However, Samsung’s recent ovens feature a camera with AI to monitor what you cook (and let you take photos for social media), the company is beginning to find ways to make AI useful for food, and the fridge is next.

In the company’s latest Family Hub French Door refrigerator, there’s an internal camera trained to recognise up to 33 food items regularly put into and taken out of the fridge, using AI to identify when something is fresh, and even have people using the fridge type in an use-by date using the fridge’s 21.5 inch screen.

When the date gets closer, the expiration date notification can pop up, essentially encouraging the food to be used rather than become more waste.

That AI fridge camera technology can also be used for recipes, with the camera able to see what’s inside the fridge, and the AI join the dots to provide ideas for recipes. It may even be used while you’re not there via Samsung’s SmartThings app, which could tell you what you have in the fridge when you’re out and about.

“Over the past decade, Samsung has invested in AI and product connectivity solidifying our dedication to improving Australians daily lives through innovative, connected home solutions,” said Jeremy Senior, Vice President of Consumer Electronics at Samsung Australia.

“By seamlessly integrating AI, our home appliances continue to bring meaningful innovation, whilst redefining convenience in the home,” he said.

The Samsung AI Family Hub French Door Refrigerator is still a fridge and includes other features, such as three compartments with independent cooling, an internal water dispenser with an autofill jug (provided the fridge is plumbed), an automatic ice maker, and two sizes, arriving in a smaller 636L model and a larger 809L fridge.

It also includes an energy metre in the Samsung SmartThings app, so you can see real time energy usage and compare it to previous use, doing so from the comfort of your phone.

However, it also comes with a pretty sizeable price, starting from $5099 for that 636 litre AI Family Hub French Door model.

French door models typically start from around the $1600 price in Australia as it is, with models in the 600 litre capacity often commanding a starting price of $2999 to $3999. With the $5K starting price, Samsung is essentially saying its AI and touchscreen are worth an extra thousand and change.

Depending on how much you value AI smarts impacting your food output, that could be the case, though it could also be an early adopter tax.

While this sort of technology is rare at the moment, it might become more common over time as more companies work to both improve food usage and better the fridge, which arguably doesn’t get a whole lot of visible changes beyond colour. That will probably take some time, though; screen-equipped fridges have been cooling food for a decade, and only a handful of makers offer them.

For now, anyone interested in AI and screens in their fridges will likely want to check out Samsung’s AI Family Hub French Door Refrigerator range, which is available in stores across Australia now.

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