Do you know you can operate your refrigerator from your smartphone? How? that is the next question you would like to ask me. Relax, as this article on “What Is a Smart Refrigerator” will explain and give more insight into this topic.
This article will give the best guide on how the smart refrigerator works and examine if it’s worth the convenience.
For clarity, I will give an overview or explanation of a smart refrigerator. After this, I will explain how it works.
However, when I get to the segment of the features/factors to consider, I will examine if the smart refrigerator is worth the convenience or just an extravagant luxury. Before that, I will explain its features.
Furthermore, I will also discuss the pros (advantages) and cons (disadvantages).
I will also bring out some frequently asked questions on the topic and answer them with my best 5 recommendations before concluding the article.
Sit tight and read till the end.
What Is A Smart Refrigerator: Overview
Imagine your refrigerator notifying you that its doors are open or low on ice. Then, you can ask your refrigerator if you are low on groceries and the amount of milk, eggs, and other groceries you need to buy in the grocery store.
A smart refrigerator, which you can also refer to as an internet refrigerator, is an appliance that can communicate with the internet.
It is a refrigerator capable of connecting to any wireless network, either a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or 4G/5G network. This enables the smart fridge to provide many more characteristics than a regular fridge.
One of the characteristics which you can associate with a smart refrigerator is that you can connect the appliance to a smartphone through the internet.
Furthermore, a smart refrigerator can connect to the cloud. But, of course, this depends on the characteristics built into the fridge.
Some features are; seeing what’s inside your fridge through your phone, getting alerts if the refrigerator doors are open, connecting to other smart devices, and many more.
Most people might think that it’s not possible. Nevertheless, some other features of a smart refrigerator are; a touchscreen and internal cameras.
Also, you can control the cooling options and operate your refrigerator with your smartphone when you are not home. Smart refrigerators can also connect with other devices in your home, such as speakers, televisions, etc.
At the moment, only a few producers make this special device. However, these producers are LG, Samsung, and GE, and each of them only has two models with connected features.
What Is A Smart Refrigerator: How It Works
The smart refrigerator is a high-technology programmed refrigerator that can detect items stored in it. Also, it keeps track of vital details such as expiry and usage.
Furthermore, the smart refrigerator operates just like the standard refrigerator but has additional features that enable it to detect stored items and transmit relevant information.
In addition, these types of generators work on a barcode or Radio Frequency Identity (RFID) system. This allows them to collect the batch and manufacturers detail of an item directly from the internet.
For the refrigerator to detect an item automatically, it requires a barcode or RFID on each item. You can as well register the items manually.
Hence, you check the LCD or other output devices to know the items inside the refrigerator.
What Is A Smart Refrigerator: Features/Factors To Consider
A smart refrigerator contains all the features and parts of a regular fridge, but it comes with the addition of some IoT-related units.
These features include refrigerant, compressor, condenser, power unit, metering, expansion, evaporation, etc.
Other parts of this device include; RFID and barcode reader, sensor, applications, control board, etc. I will explain their function one by one.
This is a substance used in the cooling system of a refrigerator. Hence, when the refrigeration cycle changes to heat, the gas substance inside the refrigerator changes to a liquid and back to solid when it goes through a full refrigeration cycle again.
As explained above, these substances are used for refrigeration cycles, and the most common commercial refrigerants are the compounds of CFCs.
The first place a cooling refrigerant enters is the compressor as a low-pressure vapor. This makes the compressor overheated. Once the refrigerant becomes heated and compressed, it leaves the compressor.
The power unit’s main function is to distribute and regulate stable power to all this device’s internal components, ensuring it has adequate power to function properly.
It is plugged into an AC outlet to get electricity which it uses to supply power to the parts.
Once the refrigerant leaves the compressor, it goes into a condensation unit known as the condenser. During this period, the refrigerant flows through the S-shaped heat exchange pipes.
As the refrigerant flows through the pipes, outer air blows across the pipes. After this stage, the refrigerant leaves the condenser and moves to the metering, expansion, and evaporation stage.
With the built-in features of a smart fridge, it can notify that its doors are open or that the groceries need to be replenished. These messages or notifications are sent through email or message to your mobile phones.
Furthermore, this device can also find recipes, and its procedures are based on the foodstuffs or groceries stored in it. Therefore, this special gadget still has various features in the development process.
The control or motherboard of this device is the brain. This unit receives various information about the items inside the fridge using RFID and barcode tags, like the date of production and expiration date.
However, it can also store data of food items found in the refrigerator in its memory. In addition, the smart refrigerator can use a Raspberry Pi and Arduino-UNO as control units.
This is an integral part of a smart fridge as you can find various sensors in this device, like door position sensors, temperature control sensors, etc.
The Reed sensor dictates the position of the refrigerator’s door and is always mounted on the top of the refrigerator. This sensor responds when you open the fridge with the lights on and goes off when you close it.
The temperature control sensor is responsible for detecting temperature variations within the internal part of the fridge and sends electrical signals to the control or motherboard.
Factors To Consider
In this segment, I will discuss the various factors to consider before purchasing a smart refrigerator.
I will also use the factors to examine if the production of the smart refrigerator is convenient for individuals or if it’s just another extravagant luxury.
The factors include:
Cost Of Operation
A smart fridge is far more costly than a regular standard refrigerator. In addition, a smart refrigerator is more complex than a regular standard fridge; therefore, it has a very high cost for repair.
Furthermore, the average smart refrigerator repair is significantly high. It is more than twice as expensive as that of a regular refrigerator.
However, a smart refrigerator consumes more electrical power during operation. So, your monthly electricity bill needs to be considered when getting this device.
Don’t Save Time
It will be great if your fridge notifies you of what you have in it and can also suggest various recipes for you based on the ingredient.
However, to achieve this, your intelligent refrigerators require you to enter your food diary manually. You will also record what you have taken out of the fridge.
Therefore, using this device, a very simple operation of collecting food from the cabinet will now be very complicated. Hence, making it to be time-consuming.
Risk Of Information Theft
A smart refrigerator can connect to many home devices, including computers, smartphones, and other gadgets. Therefore, this may result in a high risk of loss of information.
You should know that smart devices mostly come with a short lifespan. For example, you might lose access to the software of your smart refrigerator after two years, according to Forbes.
However, when the software of a smart refrigerator is no longer functioning, you can either:
One is to use the device as a regular refrigerator with higher costs for repair or two, which is to replace it with a new model. Unfortunately, both options cost lots of money without attaining their full potential.
What Is A Smart Refrigerator: Pros And Cons
In this segment, I will examine the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a smart refrigerator. This is to ensure that you see a better reason why you should or should not get a smart refrigerator for yourself and your household.
You Can Control Your Appliance Remotely
Because it is a smart appliance, you can connect the Wi-Fi of the refrigerators to your smartphone or tablet.
Some models of this device allow you to monitor or keep track of what you need by viewing inside your fridge through your smartphone, even when you are not home.
Other models of smart fridges even send notifications to your phone to alert you when the temperature of your refrigerator rises beyond normal.
Also, you can sometimes troubleshoot issues using your smartphone or other devices to keep your fridge in the best form.
You Can Track Of Expired Food.
A big thumbs up for these innovations; indeed, the future is here. Also, you should know that smart refrigerators can check the expiration date of food items or groceries stored inside the fridge through your smartphone.
You can label your food items correctly and allow the device to bring up recipes based on their expiration dates. LG and Samsung are the two most current producers to have such features in their latest models.
You Can Surf The Internet.
This feature depends on the model. For example, some smart refrigerators have an in-built browser that enables you to use a device like a tablet or a smartphone to surf the web.
Just imagine you being able to get any information of your choice through a Wi-Fi-connected refrigerator at any time or shopping online to get groceries from the store. By this, you have created an easy way of taking care of your groceries needs.
Some smart fridges don’t have an in-built touchscreen display, but the Samsung Family Hub models of smart refrigerators use large touchscreens up to 21.5 inches with a wealth of features.
For instance, this screen gives you access to weather news and entertainment through apps on the device. Some music apps include Spotify, NPR, Pandora, Amazon Music, and Tune In.
You can also have access to cooking videos etc.
You Can Create A Shopping List With Ease.
With some models, you can easily create an online shopping list through voice command or the touchscreen panel on the smart refrigerator door.
It is Very Expensive
There is a huge difference between a smart refrigerator and a traditional fridge in terms of the new features added. Hence, the price difference is too much between them.
For example, a Samsung 27 cubic feet French door stainless steel fridge costs within the range of $2249.99 at Best Buy, while the Samsung Family Hub smart fridge of a similar size and design costs within the range of $2519.99.
One of the essential parts of a smart refrigerator to the producers is ensuring perfect compatibility or connectivity and cybersecurity to the appliance and other devices subjected to IoT.
What Is A Smart Refrigerator: My Recommendations
Here are my choices of the 5 best smart refrigerators. These top picks are arranged from the best to the 5th.
|LG LRMDS3006S 30 Cu.Ft. Stainless Smart French Door Refrigerator||30 Cubic Feet||73 x 39 x 38 inches||430 pounds||LG||Stainless steel|
|LG LMXS28596S 28 Cu. Ft. Smart Wi-Fi Enabled InstaView Door-in-Door® Refrigerator||28 Cubic Feet||74 x 42 x 40 inches||347 pounds||LG||Matte|
|Samsung RF27T5501SR 27 cu. Ft. 3-Door French Door Refrigerator||27 Cubic Feet||72 x 37.5 x 37.5 inches||309 pounds||SAMSUNG||Matte|
|GE Profile PVD28BYNFS 36″ 4-Door French Door Refrigerator||27.9 Cubic Feet||36.75 x 35.63 x 69.88 inches||388 pounds||GE||Stainless steel|
|KoolMore RS-FR22 Counter Depth 22.5 Cu.Ft French Door Refrigerator||22.5 Cubic Feet||29 x 35.8 x 69.9 inches||282.18 pounds||KoolMore||Matte|
Frequently Asked Questions
Devices like dishwashers, washing machines, and fridge-freezers can last up to 10 to 11 years before being replaced.
As long as it’s a Wi-Fi network and can connect to any smart device, it can fall to cyber attacks, no matter how strong the victim appears.
An average smart refrigerator tends to range its cost from around $2,000 to $5,000; some other smart fridges can be as expensive as $10,000.
Your IoT devices can be easily hacked, and your entire network can be easily compromised. Once a hacker gets inside your network, they will access all your devices.
Smart refrigerators feature a touchscreen surface and can connect and surf the internet through a provided Wi-Fi.
This Wi-Fi can be connected through a phone or an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
The Wi-Fi feature allows you to control and monitor the fridge’s activities remotely.
In June 2000, LG introduced the first internet-connected fridge.
When you press the on/off button, it will turn on or off the Smart Fridge, depending on the command given.
The latest version of the Samsung Family Hub smart refrigerator includes interactions with the Amazon Alexa voice assistant.
What Is A Smart Refrigerator: My Final Thoughts
In summary, all I have said so far is that a smart refrigerator is an appliance that can communicate with the internet.
It is a refrigerator capable of connecting to any wireless network, either a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or 4G/5G network. This enables the fridge to provide many more characteristics than a regular fridge.
Although most people might think that it’s not possible, some other features of a smart refrigerator are; a touchscreen and internal cameras.
Also, you can control the cooling options and operate your refrigerator with your smartphone when you are not home. These and so many other features can be seen in the latest products.
I also gave in this article how the devices work by explaining some of the features. I also gave the advantages, disadvantages, and the best 5 picks to choose your preference.
Finally, I also gave the factors to consider when purchasing a well-standard smart fridge.
So, with all the above information, what do you think about the smart fridge; is it a device that aids in easing the life of an individual or a family, or is it just an extravagant luxury?
Do reply in the comment section. Also, you can visit the pages below for more articles from our website: