The Samsung Family Hub fridge has a giant touchscreen built into one of its doors, complete with an app you can use to order groceries online. A line of cameras on the inside will send a picture to your phone when you’re out shopping. An app on the fridge for Samsung’s Smart Things, smart home service will let you control your lights, your thermostat, and other connected products right from your touchscreen refrigerator door. It is believed to cost $5,000.
One trend in smart home products and large appliances at this year’s show will sound familiar to anyone who follows this space. Manufacturers still don’t know what features consumers really value in connected home products. A great way to get that information is to bring new products out to see what sticks.
I don’t think even Samsung believes its new Family Hub Refrigerator will become a mainstream hit, but what they learn from the tech-curious consumers willing to splurge on the Family Hub will give the company a better chance for success with the next generation fridge.
It’s a risk for all parties. Just one for consumers is the ownership cycle. Refrigerators can last for 10 years or more, but the smart home market is moving so quickly now, with so many new players coming in, what feels like an innovative fridge now could become obsolete in just a few years.