Much heralded, now it’s finally arrived: the internet-connected refrigerator. The original concept was a somewhat tongue in cheek example of how our lives would eventually be enhanced when everything in the home was hooked up to the internet. The concept went on to be the standing joke whenever the press wanted to poke fun at the hype surrounding the latest IoT predictions.

The domestic appliance manufacturer Liebherr together with their somewhat larger partner Microsoft chose IFA 2016 held in Berlin to showcase the introduction of their latest smart fridge. To quote from the press release: ‘In the future, powered by the Microsoft 10 IoT core customers can expect their fridge to help with their daily shopping and meal planning. Groceries stored in the fridge are monitored using cameras with object recognition via a ‘Media Intelligent Assistant’ (MIA). This process not only shows images but also recognises individual food items inside the fridge. This information automatically flows into an inventory list which allows customers to quickly and clearly see what they already have stored.  Using a smartphone voice app they can then add other ingredients to produce a shopping list.  Recipe suggestions will eventually form part of the system where shopping lists will automatically be generated”.

I couldn’t resist this insightful comment:
Hey guys, what more could I possibly need? As someone who never really got into cooking there are already loads of devices that relieve me of the stress of preparing a meal. The question is whether I really want details of my fridge contents uploaded to the Cloud.  The foodstuffs I normally keep in there wouldn’t really stand up to scrutiny by the health police. They all contain too much fat or sugar and any space left over is taken up by my stash of beers… This is just the sort of information a health insurance provider would find useful for calculating my premium. Maybe they are already considering offering favourable terms to customers willing to reveal this sort of data…

No, there’s no way I would support that sort of development. You are probably as curious as we are how the setup works with the camera module.
However it turns out, stay tuned to Elektor!