FirstBuild's USB-packed ChillHub fridge debuts at CES

FirstBuild kitted out a GE french-door refrigerator with eight USB ports to deliver the power and connectivity you need to create your own custom "ChillHub."

Megan Wollerton Former Senior Writer/Editor

FirstBuild's $2,999 ChillHub isn't your typical refrigerator. Sure, it may look suspiciously identical to GE's $2,800 French-Door fridge at first glance -- because it was used as the design template. But peer inside FirstBuild's version and you'll notice some very key design departures.

Chill out with FirstBuild's ChillHub Refrigerator (pictures)

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ChillHub has two USB stations that boast four ports each. An integrated Raspberry Pi mini-computer powers the eight USB ports, taps into the local Wi-Fi network and works its processing magic. FirstBuild's own Green Bean module makes it possible for the refrigerator and any ChillHub accessories to relay mutually relevant information. There's even an open-source companion app (iOS only, unfortunately) that lets you check in on your fridge on the go.

So what can ChillHub do that your regular ice box can't? It's all about the accessories.

Milky Weigh in action. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The first ChillHub accessory is a 3D-printed scale called Milky Weigh. Connect it to a ChillHub USB port, program it for a gallon, a quart or another common container size and this slick scale will send you up-to-the-minute alerts on your dairy situation to ensure that you never run out. (Milky Weigh? Get it?) And, if you happen to have a 3D printer at home, you can refer to Thingiverse to build your own.

Visit FirstBuild.com to see all sorts of other fun and functional custom fridge accessory concepts -- you can even add your own ideas. The $2,999 ChillHub is available through FirstBuild's online store; it has 27.7 cubic feet of storage space and comes in black, white, slate or stainless steel.

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