Thursday, May 3, 2018

Do We Really Need a Refrigerator With a Computer Built Into It?

I've repeatedly seen an annoying new advertisement (embedded above) for the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerators. In it we hear a sad song as a family's old fridge it hauled away only to be replaced by a new one that can apparently play music for all to enjoy dancing to in the kitchen. I thought this was dumb. I was curious about this, so I looked online and what I found wasn't just dumb, it was absurd. I learned this is all part of Samsung's new Family Hub Refrigerator line featuring fridges that have computer's built into them and let you do everything from surfing the web, to syncing a grocery list based on what's left in the fridge, noting expiration dates, answering commands you yell, or letting you just decide, "Screw it, we don't have anything good," and ordering from Grubhub. I love technology, but do we really need this?

Seriously, what does it mean when our society has reached a point where we think our refrigerators need to connect to the internet and play YouTube videos for us? You know what I like my fridge to do? I like it to keep my food chilled, or frozen if in the freezer-part. I don't expect my refrigerator to suggest I might like listening to Despacito, read me cooking directions, load my coupons onto a loyalty card, or do anything besides making sure my leftovers stay fresh enough to eat the next day.

Again, I am someone who loves cutting-edge technology and my friends consider me pretty knowledgeable about electronics, computers, digital formats, etc. That said, even I am sane enough to realize my refrigerator doesn't need to cost almost $4,000 just so I can adjust the thermostat from it or turn the lights down in the living room (assuming those are, "Smart," as well). Let's step-back from this ledge of pointless tech-for-tech's sake and use logic to determine that even if we have the ability to make our refrigerators capable of remotely sharing photos, streaming Netflix, or checking our baby-monitor's camera upstairs we really don't need our fridge to do so, because it is a refrigerator.

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