I know, your kitchen fridge is not the most exciting device in the house. But that’s about to change. The FridgeCam is a little device that turns your fridge into a geeky piece of home tech aimed to slash your food waste in half and help you do groceries smarter. How? By taking selfies, kind of.
Developed by Smarter, a UK-based start-up known for its smart coffee machine and water kettle, the FridgeCam is a small camera that can be installed in virtually every fridge. Every time the door of the fridge is closed, the camera takes a snapshot of what’s inside. FridgCam’s accompanying app recognizes products and updates the inventory. You know what is in your fridge at anytime, anywhere. Based on bar codes, the app is able to determine expiry dates and give you warnings when the milk is about to go bad. When you are running out of eggs, on the other hand, the app can update your grocery list.
Further neat features include a temperature sensor that will give a warning when the fridge is too cold, too warm, or the door is being left open. The Smarter Chef feature suggests recipes based on the products in your fridge.
Smarter is not the first company turning fridges into high-tech devices. In fact, Samsung and Bosch have released smart fridges recently. The advantage of Smarter is that you don’t have to replace your existing fridge for a new one that costs 4500 GBP or so. The FridgeCam is priced at 99 GBP and is a better option for the environment: the refrigerants in fridges are strong greenhouse gases and disposing a fridge before the end of its lifetime is a bad idea.
There is no doubt that food waste is a serious issue: in the UK alone, households waste up 6.7 million tonnes of food every year. That’s basically one third of all food purchased. The question is wether the FridgeCam and its app can actually make a difference. I am personally reluctant to set-up an app that will possibly bombard me with warnings that my apples and tomatoes are going bad, or that I have to buy new tofu (yes, I am a vegetarian). With its current price tag, the device risks to end up being a geeky feature in a millennial’s kitchen rather than a weapon against food waste. But, check out their website and decide for yourself. You can pre-order since last week.