Saturday, September 29, 2007

Smart Kitchens, Part 1 of 3, Smart Refrigerators

I know it’s very late in the week and that I haven’t posted. I’m sorry, but ENGR 126H, a class Bucket of Calculators was talking about earlier, is kicking my butt. I’m better now, though, and I here to bring you a short series on smart kitchens.

So here is Part 1 of 3, Smart Refrigerators.

When my parents finally let me get my driver’s license (my mom was once a bus driver and is all about safety) I would be sent on multiple trips to the store, usually to get one thing. This was because my mother would forget to get butter or pop or bread or something else that was vital for dinner that day.

So wouldn’t it be nice if the refrigerator kept track of everything in it?

I know that many of you have probably already heard of this awesome gadget but I felt that it was important because the kitchen is a gathering place for friends and family. It was only a matter of time until technology was fully integrated into the kitchen.

Right now, though not available in the US, people can buy smart refrigerators that can keep track of what is in the fridge. When you run out of something, you tell the fridge and it makes a list of things you will need when you go to the store next. It can even be programmed to tell you when to buy perishable things like milk and cold meat.

The downside is that it has to be programmed by hand. This means that when you go to the store, you tell the computer in the fridge what you bought and when it expires.

Product developers have been working to fix this small downfall in the fridge’s design by taking advantage of an older technology that is just now becoming affordable enough for commercial use called RFID tags. These tags hold enough information so that each product can be uniquely identified by brand, item and expiration date.

Another downside, though, is the enormous price tag. These gadgets can cost thousands of dollars. I think that when they become more affordable, it’ll be worth getting one.

Thanks Coolest Gadgets, DIY, First Glimpse Magazine and Search Warp for information for this post and for the next two!

Thanks Alibaba for the photo!

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