But can it buy milk?
Endgaget is reporting that Samsung is working on an RFID-enabled fridge. Back in the old days (the late 90s), it seemed whenever someone wanted to suggest how the Internet would change daily lives, a stock example was, "and your refrigerator will be hooked up to the 'Net..."
A few years later, the 'Net fridge looked like it was about to become reality. Cisco demonstrated a 'Net connected fridge in 2000, and said it was teaming up with Whirlpool to produce webified kitchen appliances. The companies never issued any subsequent press releases on the fate of their alliance, but a quick scan of Whirlpool's fridge offerings shows no Cisco-powered refrigerators for sale.
Now, it is quite possible that Web-connected kitchen gear is all the range in South Korea, where Samsung is headquartered. Broadband connections are practically ubiquitous in South Korea, and the country is a test bed for all things wireless and broadband. (South Korean rival LG already makes a 'net fridge, which it featured in the windows of a Harrod's department store in London, of all places.)
But the chance of Internet-connected appliances taking off in the U.S. remain slim. We stubbornly like our appliances to do one thing, and do it well. (Thus the failure of the combo TV/VCR) And though the Samsung fridge promises to send a message to your cell phone or the grocery store if you're running low on milk, unless the thing actually buys the milk for us, Americans are likely to stick with Refrigerator 1.0.
Speaking of refills, Coca Cola uses a cross between Bluetooth and GPS to have their vending machines send signals to their suppliers when they're getting empty. In addition, Verisign now offers coke payments via cellphone. "VeriSign has developed a technical interface between Coca-Cola machines, cellular operators and the payment system for the more than 100 beverage vending machines around Austria enabled for mobile payment." (gadgetell.com)
I would never hook any of my appliances up to the Internet. I will retain my intellect and common sense to be able to tell if I am out of milk or if something is broken. Silicon Valley will never get me. HA. Ted
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