Samsung Family Hub: The end of fridge notes?

Samsung Family Hub: The end of fridge notes?

Our gadget-loving digital editor MARK FURLER was flown to Sydney to go to Woolworths to look at a $7500 fridge. Here's why.

 YOU know the scenario. Your ravenous teenage kid, home from school, flings open the doors to the family fridge and declares: 'There's nothing to eat'.

That's despite it being full of stuff, which, with a minimal amount of effort, could be turned into a snack to satisfy the hunger pains before dinner.

 He rings you up at work, demanding food.

Unsure of what might be left in the fridge after other teens in the house have hit it, you sheepishly promise to bring something home.

But what if you could, via your smartphone, call his bluff?

 

Samsung Family Hub fridge.
Samsung Family Hub fridge.

 

Welcome to the world of smart fridge technology, where not only will you be able to see what's inside your fridge, but you will be able to leave voice messages for the teen to do his homework, eat his vegetables or mow the lawn.

Samsung has unveiled its 'Family Hub' fridge which it says will not only keep your food cool but become a focal point for communication with your loved ones in the digital world.

 

Samsung Family Hub fridge.
Samsung Family Hub fridge.

 The fridge, with a 21.5 inch screen, has an impressive line-up of features.

It can:

  • Give you an internal view of what's inside via three cameras which capture an image each time the door is closed
  • Allow you to mark food and meals and be given reminders when they need to be used by
  • Display thousands of recipes and order the ingredients straight from Woolworths
  • Mirror a Samsung compatible TV and even turn off the family TV via the fridge
  • Play Pandora or Tunein Radio music - either on the fridge itself or via Bluetooth to your compatible speakers
  • Add family or work events to your calendar via the fridge or the Samsung app on your phone
  • Display your favourite photographs
  • Let you browse the internet while you are getting the meal ready
  • Set timers which will tell you how long you need to chill a carton of beer, marinate fish or beef
  • Turn on either compatible devices such as a vacuum cleaner or washing machine
  • Give you a morning briefing on the weather which can be set to when you first walk past or a certain time each day

 

Samsung launched the fridge to media in Australia in Woolworths' innovation hub within its iconic Sydney corporate headquarters at Bella Vista.

Already, Woolworths says across Australia there are more than 500,000 customers shopping online with them, 200,000 of whom use the Woolworths app.

Samsung Family Hub fridge.
Samsung Family Hub fridge.

Kate Langford, Woolworths general manager of digital, said the partnership with Samsung "made perfect sense for us as we work to provide our customers with convenient ways to shop".

 "With the kitchen at the heart of the home, the Woolworths App on the Family Hub will deliver a great experience for customers, while also acting as a constant source of food inspiration," Kate said.

 

Chef Dan Hong checks out some of the 2200 recipes in the Samsung Family Hub fridge.
Chef Dan Hong checks out some of the 2200 recipes in the Samsung Family Hub fridge. Mark Furler

 

More than 2,200 recipes will feature on the Family Hub, with updates and new recipes added on a regular basis.

Featured cooking ideas on the homepage will also be timed to appear according to whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner time.

The recipes show you how many they will serve and how long they will take to prepare - and of course the ingredients you will need. 

 

The launch of the Samsung Family Hub fridge
The launch of the Samsung Family Hub fridge Mark Furler

Could this be the end of those fridge notes?

Jeremy Senior, head of home appliances at Samsung Electronics Australia, said he believed the Family Hub, would be a way to bring families together by sharing essential information such as family events, appointments, schedules, photos and information normally plastered on the fridge via paper notes.

"You don't need to send a text message to your kids, you can write it on the whiteboard feature of the fridge.

"If anyone's kids are like mine the first thing they do when they get home is go to the fridge, they will see the message there.

"I think it keeps the family's cohesion and co-ordination going.''

"When my kid rings me and says there's nothing to eat, I can look at the image of the fridge on my smartphone and tell him he's kidding himself, there's a banana there and a bit of watermelon.''

 Apart from the technology, the fridge itself is Samsung's top of the line four-door 671 litre model which features triple cooling and a 'FlexZone'.

The FlexZone, in the bottom right quadrant of the refrigerator, transforms from fridge to freezer by toggling between five customisable temperature settings, giving you the ability to increase their freezer space when entertaining or during the hot summer months.

It can be used as a place for the beer and wine, for example, or a dedicated spot for foods you want your children to eat.

Samsung says the fridge is designed to keep food fresher long while the ability to set reminders on food use by dates could help combat the huge problem of food waste in Australia.

With a price tag of almost $7500, the fridge won't be on everyone's shopping list this year, but if you consider how much food we waste each year, it could be a 'smart' choice in the long run.

 

Nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill, of Brown Paper Bag fame, talks about some of her favourite features of the Samsung Family Hub smart fridge.
Nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill, of Brown Paper Bag fame, talks about some of her favourite features of the Samsung Family Hub smart fridge. Mark Furler

 

 How much food we throw out each year

ACCORDING to FoodWise, Australians throw out about $8 billion worth of food every year - that's more than $1000 each year for the average household.

That equates to 523kg per household - about the same weight as just over five average size fridges.

About 20% of the food we buy is wasted while up to 40% of our bin is filled with discarded food each week.

If we saved that money, we would have enough to feed an average household for a month - or pay six months of the electricity bill.