New Samsung Smart Fridge Comes Built With Alexa
The newest version of the Samsung Family Hub smart refrigerator will include interactions with the Amazon Alexa voice assistant. The new generation marks the first addition to Samsung Bixby and the SmartThings platform. The improved flexibility acknowledges how the industry is evolving, even as it ends the exclusivity of Samsung’s fridge AI.
Along with Alexa, the updated version of the Family Hub has a redesigned interface with four screens. Each screen is themed around a different purpose, including smart home devices, entertainment, family, and cooking. The idea is to have each screen specialize in something like notes and videos for family members or planning out meal plans on the cooking screen. That purpose will in turn be servced by the new SmartThings Cooking platform support on the cooking screen and the SmartThings app. The AI takes in information about what kind of food people like to come up with recipes and menus that might appeal to the family. The included shopping lists for owners can be sent to a mobile device or used for direct purchasing from Samsung’s partners in the programs.
“Samsung’s sixth-generation Family Hub, now with Alexa Built-in, is more than a refrigerator — it lets you do things like control your Samsung smart appliances and devices, stream music, mirror your TV, share pictures, search recipes, order groceries, and so much more, all from your fridge,” Samsung explained in a press release. “Family Hub with Alexa Built-in allows you to access hundreds of thousands of Alexa skills, listen to your morning brief, set timers or alarms, stream Amazon Music, and shop via voice — all from your fridge. You can choose whether to interact with Alexa or Samsung’s voice assistant, Bixby, or even use them simultaneously.”
Samsung began integrating voice controls into its refrigerators a few years ago. The only voice assistant within the appliance until now has been Samsung’s own Bixby, however. Having Alexa may make the appliance more competitive with those already using Amazon’s voice assistant. For instance, the LG InstaView includes voice controls for the door, Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, and even Amazon Dash connections to order filters when needed if the owner gives permission. LG and other home appliance makers want to make sure they don’t miss out on opportunities for smart device integration that potential consumers demand.