Is it a fridge? Is it a tablet? No, it’s a fridge-tablet hybrid, coming straight from Samsung’s brainstorming sessions. Samsung’s new Family Hub fridge features a giant tablet on the front. The Internet made fun of the new fridge. But there are tangible reasons why this fridge innovation is a bad thing.
This isn’t the first time Samsung created a fridge with a touchscreen. But this year, the company is taking it one step further with a giant 21.5-inch touchscreen running Tizen. This isn’t the future we want.
First, appliances are a tough business. Chances are, you don’t buy a new fridge every other year. You want to keep your fridge and washing machine for as long as possible. In the best case scenario, you’re going to keep your fridge for at least a decade.
Putting a tablet in a fridge poses multiple issues. First, you can’t update the hardware. Wi-Fi standards evolve, and chances are 802.11n or 802.11ac won’t be around anymore in 15 years. Similarly, your brand new shiny tablet from 2020 will be much better than the one stuck on your fridge — faster, compatible with your Wi-Fi, etc.
Second, on the software side, Samsung is having a hard time updating phones that were released two or three years ago. And you can be sure that the company’s latest flagship phone is going to be much more popular than this fridge. It’s unclear why Samsung would dedicate resources updating the device.
Your fridge will have vulnerabilities, and some features will stop working altogether. Samsung itself has a bad reputation on this front. Google Calendar support stopped working on another Samsung smart fridge — @internetofshit spotted this support thread in yet another useful reality check.
Third, there are other issues when it comes to children buying things from your fridge, browsing the web without your consent, etc. You don’t want to set a passcode on your fridge.
And yet, all of this is exactly what Samsung wants. By putting two devices together, Samsung is hoping that it will speed up obsolescence and turnover. The company hopes that you’ll buy a new fridge once the tablet stops working.
But you shouldn’t. You should buy a fridge, and you should buy a tablet. It’s much more comfortable to sit down when you use a tablet anyway. And this is the only way you won’t die a little inside every time you open your fridge and see this useless tablet on the door.