The primary task of your average refrigerator is to make sure your food stays fresh but Samsung is aiming to elevate the mundane appliance to the next level as they showcased their new Family Hub refrigerator at the 2019 Samsung Southeast Asia and Oceania Forum in Singapore which adds in enhanced AI and Internet of Things (IoT) functionality to make the fridge both a social and technological hub in the family home.
On top of its more salient attributes of being a French-door 550L refrigerator with a crushed ice and cold water dispenser built-in for easy access and a unique metal cooling plate to keep temperatures consistently cooler for longer periods, the Family Hub fridge notably has a 21-inch 1080P display up front running their Tizen OS and their enhanced Bixby virtual assistant in the background to take voice commands.
On top of the usual abilities seen in last year’s models like the ability to upload and share pictures as well as write notes on the display via their Family Board feature, you can now effectively talk to the Family Hub via Bixby to get a brief as to your itinerary in the morning such as what’s hot in the news and the daily weather report.
Bixby is also able to recognise each family member individually based on their voice alone and tailor the information presented to each person’s unique requirements. Demonstrated at the forum was the ability for users to perform queries in a natural manner to book plane tickets, call a cab and interact with wordpress other Samsung smart devices and other third-party smart home devices via Samsung’s SmartThings protocol.
On top of voice recognition, the Family Hub fridge also notably brings in Smart View screen mirroring off a compatible Samsung Galaxy series phones or Samsung Smart TVs to mirror apps, take calls via hands-free and stream music off Spotify or TuneIn. Fortunately, the fridge also adds in an AKG tuned speaker just beneath the display for louder, richer audio. This also leads to an interesting off-label use of the Family Hub fridge as you can mirror content off a Samsung Smart TV, allowing you to watch shows while you cook.
The new Family Hub fridge also resolves one of the age-old conundrums of any homeowner – what is in the fridge? The Samsung Family Hub has a trio of cameras pointed inwards that takes a snapshot of whatever food is stored within that can be accessed remotely via a smartphone; handy if you’re the supermarket doing your grocery shopping. You can generate shopping lists and tag expiration dates on products too which makes it very handy indeed. Much like the latest QLED TVs, the Family Hub fridge also has an ambient mode that lets it act as a virtual picture frame of sorts or to act as a natural part of the background when not in active use.
There’s no confirmation on local launch dates or pricing in Malaysia for the Family Hub fridge but we’ll keep you posted.