The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES to you nerds out there, is in full swing. That means tons of laptops, gadgets and gizmos are on display. And refrigerators. Smart ones.
And science has done well. Or at least it gets a gold star for trying, because a new fridge by Samsung — known as the Family Hub Refrigerator — will let you do all kinds of things, like shop for groceries via a big smartphone-y tablet on the front of it, check the weather, upload pictures and even look inside the fridge without actually opening the door.
And all these things are wonderful features — don't get us wrong. But for a truly "smart" fridge that will compel people to throw all their money into the bonfire known as "The Next Big Thing in Laziness," science as a whole is just going to have to try harder. Why? Because we can already check the weather and upload photos on our smartphones, laptops, gadgets and gizmos. But you know what we can't do?
We know it's possible, because if you've ever been to one of those schmancy winery/wine bar places, they'll just stick a glass under a neat little spout, push a button, and a perfectly measured portion of wine comes out at just the right temperature. No one ever uses the crushed ice feature on a fridge/freezer combo anyway, so we're just saying: Replace it with booze.
You would just get a push notification on your phone that says something like, "Warning: Those strawberries you bought two weeks ago because you were totally going to make smoothies with them are now 83 percent covered in mold spores and smell like a gym locker. Dispose?"
A grocery shopping list app is nice, but I think we can all agree that science has no excuse for the conspicuously missing transporter technology that would not just make red-eye flights a thing of the past but that would also learn all your shopping habits. Then you could just push a button, and all the food you'll waste later in the month would suddenly appear.
There is a reason your kids get wrapped American cheese product slices and you get red wax Gouda. The reason is that you said so, and it would be very helpful if your fridge could generate images of stuff like six-packs of Ensure and booger-y kombucha on top of the good cheese and tasty sodas so everyone in your house would stop eating all your snacks.
Fridge-cleaning day is the worst day and easily solved by creating a singularity in your refrigerator that sucks rotten and expired stuff out so that it doesn't sit in your bins, attracting flies until the next garbage day. Bonus: You never have to touch ookie mystery casserole dregs ever again.
To the point above, is there anything more unpleasant than scraping freezer-burned (What is that? Ice cream drips? Something more sinister?) junk off freezer shelves or trying to wipe crusty stuff out of crisper drawers? Probably, but it's still a sucky job. We'll take those self-cleaning appliances now, please.
A good fridge should be able to tell you how many servings of a yet-to-be-determined meal can be yielded from one egg, a questionable tin of wasabi mayo and some lunchmeat.
And then make it for you. Because all that smart tech is really doing for us in the kitchen right now is making sure we never have to leave it, and that's bonkers. You don't need to be able to watch TV on your fridge. You need to watch TV on your TV while you sit on the couch and your fridge makes you a sammie.
Here's what the fridge can do:
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