An app for your fridge

Tech blog

LG started selling a smart fridge in South Korea this month. The fridge will tell you when the food is turning stale, if you enter the relevant information before you tuck in a bottle of juice.

It will let you order online, if your grocery shop is connected. According to the profiles of different family members, it will suggest recipes. The fridge connects through Wi-Fi and can be controlled through a touchscreen.

It costs Rs 2,45,587, which is pretty steep for the current suite of features it offers. It will soon start retailing in USA and later in India as well.  But the LG fridge has got many excited as household goods is lagging other industries such as energy, automobiles and security in the adoption of the Internet of Things (IOT) technology.

For example, high-end cars come loaded with software you may expect to see in a Boeing or an Air Bus. From mechanical performance to entertainment to navigation, it is the software that runs the show.

You want to watch an industry in the making, take a look at IOT. The technology to connect every physical object we use by giving it a unique identity and an online presence exists, though there are certain barriers – cost, bandwidth etc. - which are preventing its mass adoption.  But they are being tackled. For example, HP is developing nanotechnology sensors, which can be produced economically in large scale.

There are estimates that by 2020, we may see up to 50 billion connected devices, which will change the way we work and live. This is a prediction that is likely to come true. To sceptics, the smart fridge is at a stage the smart phones were before apps arrived to turn them into modern digital Swiss knives.

Smart fridges will evolve into platforms and turn into something else, when the apps come along.  

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