Imagine owning a fridge that could not only help you sync up food storage, but also provide entertainment and even allow you to remain connected with family members. Sounds utopian, right? Not any more. With Samsung’s newly-launched Family Hub 3.0, all of that and even more is possible at just a touch. Family Hub 3.0, which comes with a 21-inch display panel and Bixby voice control, is customised to suit the digitised lifestyles of urban Indians. In short, the Hub offers a lot more than just a regular refrigerator. Compatible with iOS and Android, the refrigerator can be remotely accessed from anywhere in the world through a phone app. It has an in-built ‘View Inside’ camera, which allows users to digitally label their food with expiry dates.
Users can take a peek inside their fridge on their phones to see if they need to make a detour to the grocery store on their way back from office. Not just that, they can leave notes as well on the screen to remind family members to clean their rooms, or children to complete their homework after school, etc. What’s more, the Bixby voice assistant can be in sync with, and maintain, up to six member profiles on its database. After registering themselves, users can expect the Hub to recognise their individual voices and provide personalised information based on their preferences, be it meals or recipes. All one has to do is ask, “Hi Bixby, what’s new today?”, and the assistant will pull up a personal planner after reading out the news, weather and calendar updates. Among its advanced abilities, the Hub also holds the promise of entertainment, a first for the Indian market.
From browsing for music to streaming different radio channels, one can listen to all their favourite beats through the AKG Premium Quality Sound Speaker installed in the Hub. Taking it up a notch, the fridge also allows users to enjoy their favourite Netflix show or a football match by mirroring their Samsung Smart TV screens on to the Hub’s display panel. As per Samsung, these innovations have been brought to India seeing the market rapidly adapt to digitisation due to a large internet user base, which is estimated to grow manifold. This affinity to digitisation, the company says, is reflected in lifestyle changes, such as purchasing multiple smart appliances that communicate with each other, be it a smart washing machine, TV, LED lights or voice-activated security.
The Hub is priced at Rs 2.80 lakh and is available for pre-booking on Samsung Shop and Amazon, with an exclusive offer of a free Samsung Galaxy S9 on pre-booking. “Our market research from India shows that customers want more than just cooling, design and capacity (in a fridge). They are looking for devices that can communicate, and we think the Hub will be a huge hit in India,” says Saurav Katyal, director, Consumer Electronics Business, Samsung India. Katyal believes the experience of the product will create intrigue and draw more consumers to it. The company, he says, plans to further innovate depending on consumer feedback and future trends—it has three IoT-based products already in the market (fridge, TV and washing machine). Whether or not Family Hub 3.0 revolutionises the Indian refrigerator industry is still to be seen, but it has definitely set a new standard for connected living.