They may have once been the stuff of science fiction, but Samsung will be launching its fridge with an integrated Android tablet and an internet-connected washing machine by the end of 2013.
The company’s head of sales for digital appliances, Russell Owens, revealed the timescale at the manufacturer’s European Forum in Monaco.
Owens said the T9000 refrigerator and Samsung’s 12kg washing machine would be available in Britain later this year.
The T9000 fridge with its Android tablet has been designed to allow users to keep track of their ingredients and order groceries while the washing machine can be controlled remotely using companion mobile apps.
We first caught a glimpse of the T9000 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January and, while pricing has yet to be announced for the UK, a T9000 refrigerator which doesn’t have the touchscreen on sale in America, retails for around $4,000.
Owens revealed Samsung was now concentrating on developing its high-end appliance range in the UK, taking advantage of what he described as the “halo effect” from customers buying Samsung phones and TVs and then looking to the brand for connected appliances.
Connected appliances are seen as “a major growth area” for the South Korean multinational.
The 10-inch touchscreen on the T9000 comes with apps such as Epicurious for looking up recipes and Evernote for jotting down your own notes, recipes and shopping lists.
You can tailor the display so you can keep up with the news, weather and your social networks by simply glancing at the fridge door.
It also is capable of replacing hand-written calendars with Google Calendar integration and you can run slideshows of photos – so there is no need for any of those messy notes and photographs stuck up on your fridge with magnets anymore.
Warner Doell, who is a vice president in the home appliance division at Samsung Canada, explained: “You can say, ‘I have these ingredients in the fridge – what can I make?’ and it will show you recipes that you can prepare.”
There’s also an app for keeping track of the best before dates on the food you’ve bought, so you know what to use up first.
And Samsung says its new gizmo will help busy couples to keep track of their shopping needs by sharing lists as each notices they’ve run out of something.
With Samsung increasingly looking to gain a bigger share of the new connected appliance market, its washing machines can be controlled remotely using mobile apps. It means you should be able to set a load of whites away even if you’ve already left for the office.
While many may ask why you need your fridge to be connected when everyone has mobiles and tablets, but Doell said ease-of-use and convenience were big factors.
“This isn’t only about today, it’s about what the next five to ten years look like,” he said. “The technology is converging across all product categories. With appliances being the traditional staid industry, it’s not been fast to adopt it.”