Saturday, 7 May 2011

Making fridges smart

Makes appliances smart is not about bolting a computer onto the appliance – putting a computer in the door of the fridge – it has to be about integrating the computer and the appliance. The key to achieving this, and to begin opening up the possible benefits of smart appliances, is sensors (data input).

Some potential sensors for fridges:
  • Internal thermometer
  • External thermometer
  • Door open/closed sensor
  • Power usage meter
  • Cameras (perhaps per shelf) covering the inside of the fridge
  • Electronic noses (perhaps detecting off-milk?)
  • Pressure sensors (in shelves)
Note, the cameras should facilitate: measuring how full the fridge is; object recognition; barcode scanning; etc.

The second, and perhaps more complicated stage, is linking this data with the functions (activities) of the appliance, and perhaps extending the functions. The functions of a fridge:
  • refridgeration
  • air circulation within the fridge
  • light
  • ice maker
The potential extensions are:
  • An automatic door

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