Smart fridges which help you keep on top of your shopping and monitor those use-by dates were a big hit last year, and judging by the innovations revealed at the CES technology show in Las Vegas, futuristic refrigerators are only going to get more and more useful and user-friendly.
Here’s a glimpse of the fridges of the future:
LG launched its smart InstaView range last year, but the latest models have built on the features of the originals. You can now talk to InstaView refrigerators using Amazon Alexa, the digital voice-powered assistant first found in the Echo speaker, to ask the fridge to buy food or even tell it to set a timer for something cooking in the oven.
Inside the fridge is a panoramic camera which allows you to browse the InstaView’s shelves using an app – perfect if you can’t remember whether you bought more milk, for example.
The screen on the front of the fridge is still there, except now you can knock the door to see a live image of what’s inside so that you don’t have to open it and let warm air in.
Samsung has also added voice recognition to its smart fridge, although it doesn’t use Amazon Alexa.
The Korean giant’s own “advanced voice technology” lets users add products to a shopping list and order groceries online, as well as doing the usual things such as asking for the time.
A 21.5-inch LED touchscreen uses Family Hub 2.0, so that anyone can leave a message or note on the fridge without using paper and pen.
It too features cameras so you can see inside without opening the door and browse the shelves remotely from your smartphone.
If you have an old-fashioned ‘dumb’ fridge, you can still smarten it up with the FridgeCam.
The camera clips into your existing fridge and tracks what’s on the shelves simply by scanning the barcode - if the product has no barcode, you’ll have to enter it manually.
The FridgeCam app will then provide recipe suggestions as well as remembering and notifying you when food is approaching its expiration date.