Samsung's new fridge could be the most insane thing at CES

Technically Incorrect: Is it a fridge? Is it a smartphone? Yes. Samsung's Family Hub fridge is really quite something, with its massive touchscreen and speakers. But is it sensible?

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

I arrived here at CES in Las Vegas with my taxi driver already panicking that things seemed a little slow.


Yes, someone really did insert a massive screen on that fridge.

Samsung screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Having reassured him that techies love to both be lazy and spend money, I wondered what gadgets would suddenly spring up and create speedy wonder. Or, perhaps, fast laughter.

Samsung seems to have obliged.

Please welcome the company's new Family Hub refrigerator, the details of which might cause shivers.

For here, according to a Google Translate version of a press release published Sunday in Korean, is a shiny, fancy fridge with an enormous screen on one of its doors. Samsung says it will be showing off the device in its exhibition space on the CES show floor, which hasn't opened yet.

It's as if the South Korean electronics maker wasn't content to just build those rather lovely Note phablets and decided to make a fridgelet.

This thing is less the iPad Pro than the iPad Froze.

It has a 21.5-inch HD touchscreen. That screen is, naturally, connected to the Web.

You can also play music on it (of course it has speakers), or even buy a new outfit.

I know that fridges have lurched toward the dreamland of every electronic thing being part of the Internet of Things.

I never thought, though, that I'd see a fridge that has cameras -- also connected to the Web -- that allow you to see what's inside the fridge without you opening the doors.

Finally, you can watch your cheese go moldy in real time. And think of the hours of fun staring at your milk, hoping to see it curdle. You could make a revolutionary time-lapse video and post it to YouTube.

This isn't, of course, the only gadget whose makers appear to be living in a remarkable bubble of (dis)connected electronic joy. Samsung also wants its new SmartThings TVs to be central to all your gadgets -- in Samsung's words, "the controller for the entire smart home."

Because you've always wanted your flat-screen to turn off your lights and draw your drapes.

The fridge, though, is communing with your appliances at a completely different, clearly more exalted, level. These engineers have focused on something that they're sure will capture human imaginations.

They know that ingenuity has no bounds and neither does laziness.

It's unclear how much this new Samsung Fridge-o-Note, which my CNET colleague Ry Crist also heard about, will cost or when it will be available. Samsung didn't immediately respond to a request for comment and it hasn't issued a press release about the device in English.

I want to believe that this will be the craziest thing I'll see at CES. I know, though, that the madness has only just started.