Samsung launches superpremium fridge

Samsung launches superpremium fridge

Fridges are not just for storing food anymore. They now have features that allow consumers to order groceries online, watch TV shows and listen to music.

Samsung Electronics released Wednesday a top-of-the-line refrigerator, called Family Hub, which has features that include voice control, screen mirroring and digital payment for online shopping.

Its right door sports a whopping 21.5-inch full HD touch screen, which is larger than the screen of a laptop or desktop PC. The versatile refrigerator is not just a conventional home appliance, but more of a digital hub that can connect users with family members and other digital gadgets at home, according to Samsung.

The Family Hub fridge is equipped with a built-in microphone and speaker that allows consumers to remotely leave voice messages through their smartphones. They can also pair their Samsung smartphone with the fridge to share images and videos.

Every time its door closes, three cameras installed inside the freezer automatically take photos of the food stored inside. Users can check on the food through a smartphone app.

At the launch event of the Family Hub fridge in Seoul, Samsung home appliance chief and senior vice president Seo Byung-sam said, “The company will incorporate the premium value and technologies of the Hub fridge into its high- and mid-end home appliance lineup down the road.”

“Consumers will not want to go back to the past (when smart fridges like the Hub did not existing), once they use the smart fridge,” said the Samsung executive.

The release of Samsung’s fridge comes a day after rival LG Electronics rolled out its own high-end home appliance lineup LG Signature, heating up competition in the superpremium home appliance sector.

In the face of near saturation in the global electronics market, the two Korean tech behemoths have been beefing up their top-class products.

LG’s home appliance chief Cho Seong-jin earlier said that the company will continue to make all-out efforts for the firm’s upscale push.

The LG Signature fridge does not run on networks as the Hub does, but features a display on the right door that becomes transparent to show what is stored inside.

Samsung’s 850-liter Family Hub fridge costs 6.49 million won, compared to LG’s 950-liter Signature fridge which costs 8.5 million won.

“Samsung’s superpremium products, starting from its Chef Collection in 2014, have been well received by consumers and achieved outstanding sales growth over the past years,” the Samsung executive said.

He did not reveal sales figures of the Chef Collection fridges and the sales target this year for the Hub fridge.

The Samsung fridge had received a reward for innovation at the International CES trade show in Las Vegas in January this year.

Samsung has tied up with retail giants E-mart and Lotte Mart, credit card firm Samsung Card, web-portal Naver and music streaming service firm Bugs to provide online commerce and music services.

The company works with online grocery shopping firm FreshDirect, cooperative supermarket chain ShopRite and credit card firm MasterCard in the U.S. to deliver online services.

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