Insights from BCC Research

Smart Refrigerator Will Listen to You

Posted by Clayton Luz on Mar 13, 2017 11:00:00 AM

You shouldn't talk with your mouth full when eating. It's considered impolite, of course. But there's one member of your household that won't mind if you talk to it with a mouthful of food.

 
Your refrigerator.
 
Ask it about the weather forecast or what's on your to-do list that dayhave another bite of whatever you're eating—then go on with your one-sided conversation. Tell your fridge you want to add some items to your grocery list. Enquire about the day's schedule, maybe. Your wish is its command.
 
Have at it, in other words. Thanks to voice recognition technologies that continue to take advantage of new developments in speech and machine learning, Samsung has rolled out voice support technology in its latest line of smart refrigerators and smart built-in cooking appliances.
 
The company's Family Hub 2.0 expands on the concept of the connected kitchen by enabling users to order and manage grocery shopping, connect with family and friends and access entertainment right from the comfort of their kitchen.
 
Samsung introduced Hub 2.0 in January at CES 2017, the tech industry’s annual convention in Las Vegas.
 
VOICE TECHNOLOGY, APP INTEGRATION FUELS INNOVATION AND MARKET GROWTH
 
Manufacturers of voice technologies like Samsung are part of a robust ecosystem that incorporate innovations in such areas as artificial intelligence, for example, to create systems that embed speech recognition in a growing number of devices and applications, says BCC Research analyst Michael Sullivan.
 
Sullivan notes that voice-enabled smart phones, kitchen appliances, game consoles, automobile navigation and home entertainment systems are just a few of the devices where voice recognition has become ubiquitous over the last few years, leading to an incredible market.
 
"For example, in 2015, the global market for voice technologies totaled $90 billion," Sullivan says. "By 2021? More than double. BCC Research is predicting it to nearly top $185 billion."
 
The South Korean company has increased Family Hub 2.0 usability, as well as food management, through expanded and intuitive app integration. For example, you can tell which food items are getting low without opening the fridge doors. Interior cameras will do the looking for you. Using voice commands, you can add those items to the product's shopping list feature, then place your grocery list order through the fridge's groceries app. You don't even have to move away from the refrigerator while doing all this. You can keep eating.
 
For meal preparation-challenged folks or accomplished cooks and chefs, the smart fridge models offer a recipe app that features recipe readout and enlarged text to make it easier for you to multi-task (eating is a task, too) in the kitchen, as well as access recipes from around the world.
 
Samsung's newest unit sports a 21.5-inch LED touchscreen, which allows family members to share photos, access updated calendars, handwrite memos in real time, and post memos from the Family Hub 2.0 app on their smart phones.
 
The company's smart built-in appliances come with Wi-Fi connectivity, too. That means you can continue eating, say, in the living room, from where you can remotely start, control and turn off your oven, as well as monitor your cooktop and range hood, from your smartphone. Bluetooth connectivity syncs with the cooktop's range hood to automatically start the hood’s fans or lights when using the cooktop.
 
Alas, it won't do the dishes.
 
Samsung says it's working with Spotify, iHeartRadio, LiDL, Glympse and other media to create more apps and different functions for the fridge. According to Matt Burgess of Wired, the additions, which include a "morning briefing" of news content, are similar to the home assistant efforts of the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices.

Topics: Information Technology