Samsung is making its move on grocery, though not in quite the same way other competitors in the field are.
After a few months of speculation, Samsung's Family Hub connected fridge is officially on the market — and apparently ready to streamline the average grocery acquisition process.
Each machine comes with an embedded 21.5 inch LCD touchscreen that is set to connect to user smartphone for Web access. The fridge's internal cameras can all share real-time photos of a fridge's contents to a user's phone via an app.
Or, for those who don't want to shop for themselves, Family Hub also directly connects to the Instacart on-demand grocery delivery service and comes preset with the Groceries by MasterCard app. That app allows users to share, build and manage their grocery carts during the week. Family Hub is also integrated with FreshDirect and supermarket cooperative ShopRite. Those tie-ins make it possible for consumers to build and purchase their carts with nothing more than a 4-digit PIN.
Items are then paid for via a checkout that accepts any U.S.-issued credit and debit card. Over time, the app is designed to learn a family's shopping habits, and it will eventually start making suggestions.
But wait, there's more. The Smart Fridge is also wired into the Allrecipes digital platform. The fridge screen also allows users to drag and drop expiration dates onto food images, and set up alerts for what foods need to be used by when.
So far, Amazon is currently the dominant player in the smart-device field — with Dash buttons and Echo both making a big splash — though Samsung is coming out of the gate ready to compete.
“We saw an opportunity to introduce a refrigerator that redefines the category – a refrigerator that goes beyond storage and one that brought the center of your kitchen into the digital age,” said John Herrington, senior VP, general manager of home appliance, Samsung Electronics America. “We’re excited to debut the Family Hub refrigerator and the great new possibilities it brings as part of Samsung’s commitment to deliver meaningful innovations to the home.”