Food doesn’t care that much about the kind of building it lives in, as long as things are cold. You may have a refrigerator that’s a cardboard box with a big ice cube and a flapping condor, or one of the new smart fridges that look like the International Space Station.
In either case, neither is of immediate help when you come home from work and only find condiments inside. But a smart fridge can make you feel real stupid about it.
Smart refrigerators tend to offer automatic temperature regulation (I would just set mine to cold), integration with all your smart devices, and often the ability to peek inside the fridge through a camera or window—a particularly useful feature if you’re worried the milk and eggs are going to jump you and take your lunch money.
Keeping Empty Milk Cartons Cold in Style
Take the Samsung French Door Family Hub Refrigerator—wow, that’s a long name. Thankfully, it doesn’t have the ability to run away because it would take too long to call it.
Looking like a fridge wearing an eyepatch, this monolith features an integrated display where you can control all your smart devices, including the ability to check who’s at the front door if you have a compatible video doorbell. It would clearly make your fridge lord of all the devices in your house. Will they mutiny?
There’s even a built-in camera that lets you remotely see what’s in the fridge from your phone, in case you’re at the grocery store and want to check if you forgot something. Do you know how many times I would egregiously use this at the checkout so everyone waiting knew how fancy my fridge is? A lot of times. They would ban me from that store.
The Bosch 800 Series Refrigerator (that’s more like it) emits an alert if the door is open so the residents don’t suffer a slow death, and if you tap on the LG InstaView Refrigerator twice, you can see inside and watch your food’s secret fight club.
Smart vs. Not That Smart
If you’re not sure whether you need a smart refrigerator, it’s worth asking yourself an important question: Do I already own a refrigerator that works? If you do and it still keeps things cold (mine heats up and then eats the food), a smart refrigerator is probably not necessary.
Even if you’re in the market for a new fridge, a smart fridge is probably something you need. They tend to cost up to thousands more than your standard, decent fridge. Yes, they conveniently help with recipes and grocery shopping, and features like a family hub that streams shows and displays notes could be fun for kids.
But is a smart fridge better than a regular fridge with a calendar and cute drawings held up by magnets? Not really.
More to the point, I already spend far too much time thinking about what’s in the fridge or gazing inside mindlessly as if I’m going to find the snack to end all snacks. A cool smart fridge that causes me to spend even more time around it is an enabler I don’t need in my life.
Now, if they make a smart fridge that says passive-aggressive things like, “Dude, it’s three in the morning,” then I’d be all in. But if they sound cool to you and you have the self-control to live with a smart fridge, check them out.