Saturday, October 15, 2011


To day's house wife must be eternally grateful to that smart kitchen appliance going by the name "Fridge" because it gives her tremendous freedom to buy and stock foods that will remain safe for days together if not for weeks. The Freezer chest that is an integral part of a Refrigerator helps her further to keep some foods for several months without getting spoiled. It is another matter that with the advent of Fridge the proportion of foods wasted has gone up because of the difficulty in keeping track of the "stock" of different foods that has been pushed into the "Box"! A common feature of all kitchens is that bigger the Fridge more difficult it becomes to use all that is stocked leading to periodic cleaning to throw out unused materials not edible any more. Here comes a savior for the humble house wife in the form of a "smart fridge" with features that can delight any one because it spares the house wife the need to be eternally alert about foods going waste due to difficulties in keeping track of the stock.

"One appliance creating quite a buzz in the industry is the smart fridge. With Wi-Fi-enabled computer screens built right into the refrigerator door, these appliances are so smart they can tell users when their carton of milk is set to expire or how much butter to buy at the store. The fridge can send recipe lists to smartphones or even activate an alarm if the door is left open. Touch screen apps provide weather information, headline news, photo slideshows and Pandora radio stations. Since the kitchen is a central location for most families, these computers can even organize calendars and notes, all available on smartphones, tablets and computers to keep the family connected. Technology like this is not going to be accessible to everyone, pointed out Cogburn. Don't throw away cookbooks and refrigerator magnets yet. The price tag on these smart appliances are going to deter most buyers. However, fridges on the lower end are still making advances in technology, with LCD touch screens that can set the temperature inside the fridge as well as determine how much ice and water are needed for a single glass, allowing for hands-free filling. New fridges, equal in total space to old fridges, now have more storage space as new technology has made the insulated sides narrower and the ice maker more efficient. Cogburn said some of the higher-end technology might come to Northeast Colorado eventually, but right now it's very limited in certain areas. While smart refrigerators use convenient computer systems as their selling point, other appliances focus on energy efficiency. Some products come with the Energy Star label, a program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. These appliances have met strict energy efficiency guidelines to help Americans save on their energy bill as well as greenhouse gas emissions".

Of course what is not told about this appliance is that one has to be computer savvy to operate them and their cost can be foreboding to most families, at least for now. But imagine the advantages of owning such a fridge which can even convert the kitchen into a mini office that can run many chores! The million dollar question that can befuddle any one is whether these appliances will eventually affect the quality of foods cooked, at least from the taste and flavor angles because of too much pre-occupation of the house wife with the new Gizmo! While computer applications in general can improve the quality of life in many ways, the quality of results will depend ultimately on the operator and in this case also, human element in programming the fridge and equipping it with data can be a tough job and how many house wives will have the skill and patience remains to be seen. For those house wives who are familiar with latest developments in chip applications, the Smart Fridge will indeed be a boon!


No comments: