Fridge of the Future Predicts We Will Be Lazy

By Jennifer Welsh | December 28, 2010 1:07 pm

Future forecast: laziness ahead. Appliance designers are trying to make even eating and cooking as fool- and work-proof as possible.

The fridge of the future they are designing can do it all: order food, plan your recipes, and even count your calories.

This future-is-now technology is being created by a team of researchers at University of Central Lancashire (that’s in England, in case your fridge hasn’t told you) working with grocery delivery company Ocado. The fridge will automatically scan its contents and order groceries accordingly. It can even plan recipes around the fridge contents, designer Simon Sommerville told the Daily Mail:

“If the specific item for a recipe is not present, the refrigerator might suggest a delayed option, which allows time for delivery, or possibly attempt to find or propose a passable alternative for the missing ingredient.”

It will even clean itself and its nano-tile shelves will move older food and leftovers forward so it can be used. It will also detect decomposing food, keeping those stinky fridge smells from developing and reducing waste. Dieting will be easier, too, as the fridge has a built-in scale which can weigh and determine the calorie count of your foods before and after eating, keeping a food diary of your caloric intake.

Currently the fridge is just a gleam in its designer’s eye—and, frankly, it seems like it will probably remain just that—but it’s an interesting look at what kinds of tasks might be too much for humans of the future.

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Image: Daily Mail

  • Mr Z

    Your article missed an important part of the definite future. Thanks to the space program, there is a company offering technology called AiriCide which prevents lettuce from wilting and other fridge problems of that nature. The fridge of the future will DEFINITELY have this feature.

    The article also misses another important feature or three: chemically modified food preparation materials that change the flavor of say petridish meat or vegetable matter.

    It talks about menus and recipes but not AI to modify recipes on demand to account for varying levels of food stocks. Minestrone soup can be made many ways and can even be made differently each time. Chile is the same. It will take AI to look at the present food stocks and produce a menu of items which can be prepared in a user selected time frame. To do what my mother was able to do in the kitchen will take a LOT of AI. In fact, such tasks as food / menu planning are as complex or more so than playing 3 games of chess simultaneously…. where the pieces from all three games interact.

    Goal: plan six meals for the next three days with current food stocks, and plan 6 more for the 3 days following one trip to the store and spending less than 15 dollars US. Now, that would be a smart fridge.

  • Georg

    Do You want Your fridge being more intelligent than yourself?

  • idlewilde

    I don’t want nano-tile shelves reminding me of the half cup of leftover stewed broccoli I was deliberately forgetting on the bottom shelf.

  • http://sueannbowling.com Sue Ann Bowling

    How about calculating the protein, carbohydrate and fat content of a meal, keeping it close to the daily totals I specify? I have computer software that does that, but only if I weigh every ingredient.

  • Kyle

    Why do I have this image of my future fridge saying “I’m sorry Kyle, I can’t let you have ice cream today”>

  • Abhijit

    Combine it with 3d food printers….the raw food material stored in this to be prepared by food printer

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