Is Samsung’s fridge $5,799 worth of smart?

Discussion
May 09, 2016
Tom Ryan

After gaining much hype at the CES show, the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator last week became available to the public. The company promises that the device will make the kitchen more of “a focal point for family members, enhancing their lives with family connections, food management and entertainment experiences like never before.”

A 21.5-inch LCD touchscreen that seamlessly connects to every household member’s smartphone serves as the refrigerator’s “digital command center.”

One “wow” feature of the fridge the ability to view what’s inside while at a grocer to help remember what you need to buy. That’s made possible by three tiny cameras positioned inside the refrigerator that capture an image each time the doors close.

Consumers can also use the screen or their linked smartphone to drag and drop expiration dates onto images of items inside the fridge to provide reminders on using products.

Family members can also compile and track shopping lists that sync between fridge and smartphone. At home, they can use an app to scan barcodes when adding products to the list.

A Groceries by MasterCard app enables users to order online from retailers like Fresh Direct and ShopRite through a single-click checkout. The Groceries shopping cart learns a family’s shopping habits and makes personalized suggestions on items and brands. Instacart can also be used for grocery delivery.

In the “enriches family life” department, the Family Hub screen enables households to share schedules, photos and artwork. Consumers can the internet to check news or weather, find recipes and related how-to-videos, and tap for other information.

Finally, from an “entertainment” perspective, favorite television shows can be mirrored from Samsung Smart TVs onto the refrigerator’s digital screen. Favorite songs and talk radio programs can be streamed through apps such as Pandora, making use of the device’s built-in speakers. External Bluetooth wireless speaker technology can extend sounds to other parts of the home.

With advanced refrigeration technologies, The Family Hub fridge starts at $5,799.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
How would you rate the appeal of the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator? Does it make sense for refrigerators to become the hub of a family smart home?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"I can pay $189 for an Amazon Echo that will do many of the same things as this over-priced Samsung refrigerator. Why spend double or triple the amount of a regular refrigerator for three interior cameras and a display screen when most of a family’s food items are not stored in the fridge?"
"Let’s see, I want to know what’s inside the fridge. How do I do that? Oh yes, I can open the door!"

Join the Discussion!

8 Comments on "Is Samsung’s fridge $5,799 worth of smart?"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Max Goldberg
Guest
3 years 8 months ago

I can pay $189 for an Amazon Echo that will do many of the same things as this over-priced Samsung refrigerator. Why spend double or triple the amount of a regular refrigerator for three interior cameras and a display screen when most of a family’s food items are not stored in the fridge?

Ed Dunn
Guest
3 years 8 months ago

I rather prefer to add magnet stickers to the back of a $79 Samsung Tablet, attach it to the fridge and spend the remaining $5,721 on the backyard deck.

Steve Montgomery
Guest
3 years 8 months ago

The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator is an expensive solution looking for a problem. Having a smart or even a very smart refrigerator is not going to make the kitchen more of a focal point for a family. Family meals would do that — remember them?

Let’s see, I want to know what’s inside the fridge. How do I do that? Oh yes, I can open the door! I do admit being at the store and being able to check might be handy, but for $5,800 I can check before I leave.

To me this is a classic case of just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Bob Amster
Guest
3 years 8 months ago

It’s appealing but for the price. But, as happened in the past with the early flat screen TVs, the price tag will come down to the point at which it is popularly affordable. One question I have is, what would happen if the household changes the refrigerator unit in time? What will be the impact on all the connections and links that were created with the fridge as the hub?

It would be like going from a Windows OS to a Mac OS. Could be trauma. So I think I am OK with the fridge as a hub for food but not for the entire household.

To counter my own argument, families may keep a refrigerator long enough that a completely new technology will be available by the time it’s time to replace the fridge. If that were the case, it would not matter that the fridge IS the hub.

Peter Charness
Guest
3 years 8 months ago

Does it read the expiry dates on the milk, or you need to buy the upgrade with better cameras? Wow. Commonplace in 10 years? How many people do you know willing to spend that kind of money to avoid being even a little bit organized? Even if the price goes down by 50 percent …

Gordon Arnold
Guest
3 years 8 months ago

The better question is, have we added value to the luxury level of the Internet of Things inside market threshold pricing and can we maintain margins for the life of the product? Apple and dozens of companies no longer with us have clearly established the hurdles and traps in decisions like these. The life expectancy of electronic product is measured in months. Refrigerators are relatively long-term investments with low maintenance and upgrade expectancy. Putting these product lines together has the makings of some very expensive clearance markdowns. Keeping inventory levels low might be a good idea for a while.

Elly Valas
Guest
Elly Valas
3 years 8 months ago

For many years I said things like this are solutions looking for problems to solve. I was wrong. Consumers seem to find things that can be better done with new technology every time one rolls out.

Once the price drops, as it inevitably does, consumers will love it.

Ken Morris
Guest
Ken Morris
3 years 8 months ago

This is an example of “real-time retail” on steroids! With access to real-time information about customers, we have been talking about retailers understanding “what’s in their customers’ closet,” but now we can know “what’s in their fridge.” It will make grocery shopping more convenient for customers and provides retailers, who are connected to their loyal shoppers, opportunities to influence and stimulate purchases based on interest and needs.

Families and friends spend a lot of time in the kitchen and food is an important element of their interactions. While the cost of the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator is cost prohibitive for the masses, it is fascinating and it is probably something that will eventually become mainstream when the price comes down — just like the smart TV. Perhaps a partner such as Amazon, Netflix or Whole Foods will subsidize the cost … this is the first of many smart use cases for the technology but it will require time to become mainstream.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"I can pay $189 for an Amazon Echo that will do many of the same things as this over-priced Samsung refrigerator. Why spend double or triple the amount of a regular refrigerator for three interior cameras and a display screen when most of a family’s food items are not stored in the fridge?"
"Let’s see, I want to know what’s inside the fridge. How do I do that? Oh yes, I can open the door!"

Take Our Instant Poll

What’s the likelihood that smart refrigerators such as the Samsung Family Hub will be commonplace in homes within the next 10 years?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...