While reading the article on Fortune entitled The Coolest Tech We Saw at CES 2016, I stopped for a minute to ponder on how consumers are being misled by some multinational technology giants, in this case, Samsung. For as long as we can remember, tech-giants have been luring us astray with the promise of geeky gadgetry and sci-fi influenced “future-tech” that are nothing more than a few, cheap, commonly accessible pieces of junk tied together to form an impressively large heap of junk that does everything under the sun except be useful.
Courtesy of SamsungSamsung SmartFridge – Samsung’s talk-of-the-show refrigerator has a lot of bells and whistles, but what’s remarkable is they don’t seem to be pointless additions. The embedded camera that takes a picture every time the door is closed? That can come in handy when you’re at the store. Alerts when a food item has been in there long enough to go bad? Fantastic. And the built-in touchscreen will offer recipe suggestions, news and weather alerts, and let you automatically reorder food thanks to a partnership with MasterCard. It’s a strong argument for the Internet of Things and the smart home.
Embedded cameras? “Hey, I’m your food! Come and eat me.” What would be impressive is object detection, to tell me “You have no milk.”.
Alerts when a food item has been in there long enough to go bad? If there’s no object detection (with OCR for reading titles on cartons, say, milk cartons, then how would it know what that item is and when it will go off. How will it turn that carton upside down to read the expiry date on the bottom? What if it’s “long life” milk?
Recipe suggestions? News and weather alerts? I’ve seen all of that in widgets on one screen on a tablet. How is that impressive?
Automatically reorder food. How will it teleport into fridge? Meh. I could have created a recurring monthly shopping list on Pick N Pay online shopping, and have my groceries delivered to my door.
All of this seems like something a few programmers could throw together using reusable apps, a fridge and a tablet in just a few weeks. I’m disappointed that Samsung, who can afford the best programmers and engineers, came up with something as basic as this.