"Cool" as an euphemistic noun is rarely used to describe what is literally cool—a refrigerator. Until now.
Samsung has redefined the central appliance of the home with its new Wi-Fi/Bluetooth-enabled Family Hub refrigerator, essentially a tablet with a fridge/freezer attached. It'll be available in May, priced between $5,000-$6,000, depending on the version.
Fronting the top left of its four doors is a full HD (1920 x 1080) 21.5-inch horizontal touchscreen. Over and above the screen's pure tablet functions, it has pre-loaded apps that let family members leave finger-scrawled messages, to sync everyone's Google and Apple iCal calendars and create one master schedule, maintain shopping lists and find recipes, post family photos and videos, mirror what's showing on your Samsung TV in the living room so you don't have to miss anything when you duck into the kitchen for a snack, and stream music from Amazon Music, Pandora or your phone—did we mention the fridge is equipped with speakers? If you don't like their sound, you can pair Bluetooth speakers of your choice.
Inside the fridge is Amazon Echo Alexa voice-recognition technology, and it can be paired with another Echo. Later on, the fridge will work with Samsung's SmartThings platform (the company's new TVs will also include a SmartThings hub) as well as Samsung's pending iOS and Android home appliance app, due simultaneously with the fridge. Like a tablet or smartphone, the fridge is equipped with a USB jack and includes 5GB of memory, which can be expanded to 64GB.
Don't get the idea that this is simply a tricked-out fridge; its technology helps you keep it filled. Inside are two fish-eye cameras; every time one of the doors closes, a photo of its contents is snapped. You can use the app to view the latest photos and order additional groceries through the Instacart shopping service—no more weekly supermarket forays.
As a refrigerator, its cooling capabilities are also cool. The top two compartments comprise the main refrigerator and the southwest compartment is the freezer. The southeast door covers a FlexZone, which can be used as either fridge or freezer by choosing one of four temperature modes: frozen, soft freeze, chill and cool.
The Family Hub Refrigerator will be available in both standard-depth 28 cubic-foot and 22-cubit-foot counter-depth models in either standard or new black stainless steel, which is, in and of itself, considered the new cool in appliance finishes.
[Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator via Samsung]