Let’s face it, refrigerators are not exactly the most exciting piece of tech around the home but they are among the most essential.
Each year the likes of Samsung, LG, Whirlpool reveal their latest innovations at the big annual tech trade shows such as CES in Las Vegas and IFA in Berlin.
But there’s also growing focus on smart fridges. We take a look at some of the newest and most innovative fridge technology, which could be coming to a kitchen near you soon:
Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
If you’re always forgetting what food you need to buy, the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator may come in quite useful.
Cameras inside will snap photos of the shelves and send them to your phone upon request whenever you’re out and about. You can remotely adjust the fridge’s temperature too by wi-fi and get alerts when the door is left open.
But if you’re already at home, there’s no need to bother going out to buy new food or using your computer to order a delivery, as on the outside of the fridge you’ll also find a massive 21.5-inch screen (which looks like a giant tablet) that you can use to order groceries straightaway.
Not only that, you can use it to play music from streaming service Pandora and even sync a family calendar (so no more paper-based calendars either).
This fridge is already available in the US, starting at $5,599.99 (£4,184.34). A European edition was unveiled at IFA 2016 with new separated fridge and freezer cooling technology, so expect to see it on the high street soon.
LG Smart InstaView Door-In-Door Refrigerator
Earlier this year, LG unveiled a new Signature range of kitchen appliances which included a refrigerator that detects movements and opens the door when you place your foot near a sensor.
LG updated it, adding a Windows 10 tablet to one to its Smart InstaView Door-In-Door refrigerator.
A 29-inch semi-transparent touch screen is featured on the door, which uses an Intel USB computer stick giving a Windows 10 tablet experience. A dedicated app provides fridge controls and allows you to add labels onto the fridge, so you can set expiry dates or who the food belongs to while seeing the food thanks to the touch screen’s transparency.
A camera on the inside also takes photos from the inside, so you can check what you have in from your smartphone.
LG is yet to announce a price or release date.
Whirlpool Smart French Door Refrigerator
Whirlpool’s latest refrigerator is less flashy, but still has some pretty cool innovative features packed inside.
The Smart French Door Refrigerator uses smart notifications to make users aware of a power or wi-fi outage, and also reminds them to change the air and water filters.
There is a choice of customised settings too, such as Party Mode which makes more ice cubes faster and lowers the temperature inside in anticipation of a loss of coolness from the door opening more frequently.
The Smart French Door Refrigerator is currently only available in the US for $3,800.00.
The Smarter Fridge Cam and Smarter Mats
They may not replace your refrigerator, but they certainly compliment them – and will surely cost less.
Smarter, makers of the smartphone connected wi-fi kettle, have now developed the Smarter Fridge Cam so you can take a glance at what you have in the fridge from your phone when you’re out.
Smarter Mats, which weigh the contents of bottled foods such as milk and let you know when they’re running out, also go in the fridge.
Microsoft and Liebherr’s fridge tech
While many of the latest smart fridges show you what’s inside, none of them identify them for you and put them in a list, which sounds like a lot less hassle.
Microsoft and Liebherr have teamed up to work on the latter’s SmartDeviceBox, which learns products and will let you know when you’re running low. It does this using sophisticated image recognition technology, sending a list of anything running low to a smartphone app.
Of course, Cortana will play a part in it all as your all-knowing digital assistant.
What do you think about these refrigerators of the future? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.