Smart Fridge Is Your New Recipe Card

The Smart Fridge here is for those who have shunted cooking to a hobby and rely more on designer microwave meals. The idea is to give you a fridge that is intelligent enough to come up with a healthy recipe, depending on what you stock in it. Not only that, it guides you with vocal instructions, spoon by spoon, till you dish out the perfect-wholesome meal. A touch interface door glams up the appliance, creating the desire to own a piece that’s futuristic but may not be what you’re looking for!

Designer: Ashley Legg

Smart Fridge by Ashley Legg

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176 Comments

  • igazbin says:

    Ridiculous. Tomorrow’s throw away. Don’t cook much? Get a 1.7 cu.ft. fridge for under $100.

  • Sparky says:

    if the tech that would be required for this thing to actually work came into existence i think it’d be a great product

    • heydumbass says:

      this technology does exist,,,

    • heydumbass says:

      this technology does exist,,,

    • Bri says:

      I think the tech already does exist. Look at drinkmixer.com You put in what you have and then it tells you all the cocktails you can make with what you have. Same concept, and we're constantly upgrading our touch screen technology. touchscreen phones, iPad, touch screen kiosks, etc. This might not be too far off….

    • Bri says:

      I think the tech already does exist. Look at drinkmixer.com You put in what you have and then it tells you all the cocktails you can make with what you have. Same concept, and we're constantly upgrading our touch screen technology. touchscreen phones, iPad, touch screen kiosks, etc. This might not be too far off….

  • Karen Kelly says:

    They had me up until “input your food”. I “input” my food by putting it in the refrigerator, I’m not going to stand there and do a bunch of data entry to tell it what I just put in there. Would I have to select from a list? What if what I had wasn’t in the list, I could input it anyway but it wouldn’t be able to do anything with it, right?

    Also, I don’t necessarily want my refrigerator telling me what to do. Next thing you know it’s telling me I should eat more vegetables or drink less beer. I should, but that’s none of my appliances’ business.

    • Sandy says:

      A very unnecessary appliance. Would cost way too much money for the average household to afford!!! If I bought this appliance I wouldn’t have enough money to put any food in it!!

    • Park says:

      Perhaps instead of inputting your food manually, it could have a receipt scanner – problem solved.

      • Athena says:

        Failing that Park RFID could be used. I have heard that companies are considering putting it in supermarket food packaging so if it has gone out of date or if for example a frozen product has been left out to defrost the RFID tag can record this and refuse to allow customers to purchase it at the counter.

        • guest says:

          They do this with RFID tags already, at least at stores like walmart.

          They have got it so If you take an object off of a shelf and run through checkout as fast as physically possible, and leave, buy the time you have left the premises, It has placed an order for a new product to replace the old in the storage rooms.

        • guest says:

          They do this with RFID tags already, at least at stores like walmart.

          They have got it so If you take an object off of a shelf and run through checkout as fast as physically possible, and leave, buy the time you have left the premises, It has placed an order for a new product to replace the old in the storage rooms.

    • Paige says:

      It only tells you if you ask. It's not your new diet consultant. It's for that moment when you realize you didn't have anything planned for dinner, cause you work, and so does your husband, and you just don't want to have to think about dinner too. And the shopping isn't done 'cause of your busy schedule, but you know you have groceries. You ask your fridge and it gives you a healthy option to whip up for your family. What's wrong with that?

      And as far as inputting data, the time it will save you later, not to mention the money on wasted food that you wouldn't have to lose, I'm gonna guess would make up for it.

    • Paige says:

      It only tells you if you ask. It's not your new diet consultant. It's for that moment when you realize you didn't have anything planned for dinner, cause you work, and so does your husband, and you just don't want to have to think about dinner too. And the shopping isn't done 'cause of your busy schedule, but you know you have groceries. You ask your fridge and it gives you a healthy option to whip up for your family. What's wrong with that?

      And as far as inputting data, the time it will save you later, not to mention the money on wasted food that you wouldn't have to lose, I'm gonna guess would make up for it.

    • ives says:

      ditto

    • ives says:

      ditto

  • jimbo says:

    time WAISTER ! It sounds good but all the time spent inputing data and requesting meal etc could be better used.If you have a recipe its not hard to look if you have ingrediaents.

    what would be great is if it would give list of meals that could be made with what u have and then select from there .

    In the future if your fridge breaks down u starve.

    • bekahlu says:

      "what would be great is if it would give list of meals that could be made with what u have and then select from there."

      don't you read? that's exactly what it said it would do!! all you have to do is type in what you put in it, which HONESTLY would probably take no more than 5 minutes, and then voila, it can tell you what you can make with those ingredients.

      smart invention. probably not even remotely afforable within the next several decades though….

      • bekahlu says:

        oh, but then again, it would definitely be a pain to have to constantly update it depending on what you eat that day and stuff.

    • bekahlu says:

      “what would be great is if it would give list of meals that could be made with what u have and then select from there.”

      don't you read? that's exactly what it said it would do!! all you have to do is type in what you put in it, which HONESTLY would probably take no more than 5 minutes, and then voila, it can tell you what you can make with those ingredients.

      smart invention. probably not even remotely afforable within the next several decades though….

      • bekahlu says:

        oh, but then again, it would definitely be a pain to have to constantly update it depending on what you eat that day and stuff.

  • Bobby says:

    What a clever concept! Now does it do your shopping too? :->

    • quantumgenius says:

      nah, you get to do that online and have it delivered…:P I do… I hate..HATE being in stores…too many monsters running around unattended by their parents…not to mention the pram parade with more screaming monsters inside them. meh…easier to just order what you want and have it delivered!

      • Zenofire says:

        If you could hook up your grocery order to the fridge then you wouldn't need to input the data! It could have a list of all the foods you bought and put it on a waitlist sort of menu. Then when the food is delivered you put the food away and press one button to add the waitlist to your fridge's inventory.

    • quantumgenius says:

      nah, you get to do that online and have it delivered…:P I do… I hate..HATE being in stores…too many monsters running around unattended by their parents…not to mention the pram parade with more screaming monsters inside them. meh…easier to just order what you want and have it delivered!

      • Zenofire says:

        If you could hook up your grocery order to the fridge then you wouldn't need to input the data! It could have a list of all the foods you bought and put it on a waitlist sort of menu. Then when the food is delivered you put the food away and press one button to add the waitlist to your fridge's inventory.

  • It’d be great to add a barcode scanner for inputing food. That would streamline the process a bunch. For fruits and meats, you can select from a list…Damn but not all my groceries. Barcode ftw, hopefuly the database can relate them to there general type to….So if i scan peter pan peanut butter, it just says i have peanut butter so it can be compatible with a larger range of recipes, than just recipes including exactly “Peter Pan’s Butter”

    • CIA spook says:

      They have them in Conneticut. I mean, like , at stores. they just scan the food as you put it into the cart, and then you just bring it up to the manual checkout thing, and put the scanner into this slot where a computer is, and then it takes the money off your credit card, and voila! The first time I went there, my jaw dropped.

      On topic, I think that it's way too costly. Like Sand said, I wouldn't have enough money to buy groceries. I suppose it'd be cool to have, if you didn't have to imput your groceries…

      hmm. I don't like AI. Too untrustworthy. Yeah, unless it was the new standard fridge, I don't think I'd buy it.

    • CIA spook says:

      They have them in Conneticut. I mean, like , at stores. they just scan the food as you put it into the cart, and then you just bring it up to the manual checkout thing, and put the scanner into this slot where a computer is, and then it takes the money off your credit card, and voila! The first time I went there, my jaw dropped.

      On topic, I think that it's way too costly. Like Sand said, I wouldn't have enough money to buy groceries. I suppose it'd be cool to have, if you didn't have to imput your groceries…

      hmm. I don't like AI. Too untrustworthy. Yeah, unless it was the new standard fridge, I don't think I'd buy it.

  • Margot says:

    A talking fridge would drive me batty.

  • What about using shopper from google apps, scan groceries by picture or barcode, then just sync to thw fridge to tell you what might be rotten or what can you cook with what you have

    • Ashley Legg says:

      Hi Gerardo

      Thanks for your comment. The whole inputting food business is still a hole in the idea. Using a mobile device like a phone is a nice idea!

      Thanks again,
      Ashley

  • MC says:

    omg I thought of this thing when I was a kid… cept I used the receipt that the grocery gives you to scan in the products. Mine also would say what you would be missing to create a recipe of your choice and would print out shopping lists.

  • T Wu says:

    Like others, I thought this was an automated iron chef. Imagine if it had an internet connection, and could do automatic searches for recipes based on the ingredients that are still in the fridge. It could pull up a bunch of recipes for say, 1/2 qt milk, 2 eggs, a hunk of cheese, and some day old parsley. ‘Course, if you can’t figure out what to do with that, you’re better off saving your money and spending $30 for Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, or equivalent.

    And, as others have said, it’ll take too much time to update what food you have. That may be automated some day with RFIDs on food packaging. And I’m sure someone WILL connect the fridge to the internet, and you’ll get ads in your house on your fridge based on the food you have. No thanks.

    However, here’s a suggestion for the designer. How about energy savings? Turns out the fridge tends to be the #1 energy hog in the house. Now, new Energy Star fridges really do use less energy. But there’s also a role for behavior. Turns out a full fridge or freezer uses less energy than an empty one. Our freezer is half empty, and we fill the space with jugs of water, which freeze into ice. Result: we use less energy, and we have water and “coolth” in case of an emergency.

    Maybe a fridge can be designed with a device that shows how much energy it needs, and that also shows what to do in order to minimize that energy usage- like open it less, or add something like a bottle of water or two). I don’t know- something that alters the user’s behavior in order to minimize energy use. Just a thought.

  • gettafreebie says:

    The manual entry of new shopping would eventually drive me mad, much like loading the dishwasher

    I think Smart Fridge II should have automated online re-ordering and a built in teleporter .. it would be great then 😀

  • Nick says:

    the look of a see through fridge door is nice when your groceries are few and well organized, but most peoples’ refrigerators are not. The thought of the inside of my fridge becoming part of my kitchen decor would drive me mad.

  • Imagine if all food packaging and wrapping had RFID tags. Equip fridge with RFID scanner and all trays with weight sensors. As soon as i put something in, it scans the RFID tag, knows what it is that i put into it, figures out the net weight of the product, and voila.

    This would also solve the issue what to do when you get a bottle of milk out, drink a glass, and put the bottle back in. It would update the net weight and always know how much you have left.

    Then, connect the software to the web services of nearby grocery stores.

    But please dont bother me with having to “input food”. I rather spend my money on a year’s supply of home order pizza than on a fridge like that. Yuck.

    • Chris says:

      You have enough picture recognition software to do food recognition, i..e. integrate a webcam like type of interface that will capture your food entry.

      BTW, some do already integrate in iPAD in your fridge door, that allow you to take away the ipad with the food to follow the recipe and re-use all the connectivity from the web to simplify it.

      Anyhow, I like the design and the idea of the the transparent display. That can be turned into a “green” compatible device, in order to avoid opening the fridge to pick&choose your stuff.

  • Pedro A. says:

    Ashley Legg, i have an simple ideia to solve the problem with input

    the fridge could be devide in modules. each module would have a balance. so, the only thing you need to do is say to the fridge, only one time, what you put in each module. for exemple: if you usually have cheese, you just need to say to the fridge where you put it. if the balance do not record weight, that means you dont have cheese.

    and better: if you have only 200g chesse, the fridge will not sugest a recipe that needs 500g chesse.

    and of course, you could change the information of what you put in each module any time

    • Pedro A. says:

      and one more thing:
      with that solution, the fridge could do a list with the things you need to buy next time you go to the market, and tell you when the things are close to end

    • Ashley Legg says:

      Hi Pedro,

      Your suggestion sounds by far the easiest. I work in a computer company and i like the idea to keep things low tech when possible.
      I guess i’m going to spend some more weekends in the office to work things out.

      Thanks for your thoughts,
      Ashley

  • Tom says:

    Classic example of someone getting excited with a render package then investing a use for the thing they have spent hours making look pretty.

    The technology is ill suited for the application. Perhaps an OLED screen would be more appropriate as a touch interface. Why does it need to be transparent by the way. Are many fridges now-a-days?

    Entering the ingredients yourself would be time consuming and most uders wouldnt bother, bearing in mind this is crucial to you actually selling this product I doubt many would subscribe to the idea.

    Sorry.

    Think before you hit CAD next time

  • Max says:

    Why not just use RFID tags to identify what items you have put in the refrigerator?

  • Paul W says:

    YES! YES! YES!

    EXCESS! EXCESS! EXCESS!

    You don’t need it but you would happily buy it!!!

    • CIA spook says:

      Do you need an anthropomorphic car with a monkey chauffeur in the city? No. Do you want it? Definitely.

    • CIA spook says:

      Do you need an anthropomorphic car with a monkey chauffeur in the city? No. Do you want it? Definitely.

  • po's says:

    i think the idea is awsome, but i agree with Karen Kelly, i mean, there has to be an easy way to put all the info, or just simplify it…the barcode lector its a great idea…

  • po's says:

    although, are you sure that is viable? how often you have to give maintenance?

  • po's says:

    i think the idea is awsome, but i agree with Karen Kelly, i mean, there has to be an easy way to put all the info, or just simplify it…the barcode lector its a great idea…

  • po's says:

    although, are you sure that is viable? how often you have to give maintenance?

  • John says:

    The tech exists to make this possible, the only drawbacks are you have to input your food (at least until packages start carrying RFID tags) and when its made its going to be ridiculously expensive

  • Kesha says:

    Being a mom, this would definitly be nice for those days when mom doesn’t know what to cook.

  • Would make more sense if the thing kept track of expiration dates in the food.

  • Janna says:

    This is the stupidest thing I’ve seen all day.

  • Jens says:

    So everytime I bought some new food, I have to register it for my fridge? LAME…

  • a cook says:

    This is a very nice design study, but really people, ain’t it better to learn how to cook? This automatically will help you keeping track of your fridge content. And do you really want your household devices to blather all the time???
    No really …

    But nevertheless nice graphic and concept 🙂

  • Miltank says:

    Sounds like a pretty cool concept but what about when you want something from the fridge without making a recipe?
    You’d not only have to track the input but the output as well, wouldn’t you?
    The barcode idea sounds great.
    Nonetheless, I’d love to have one of these, just to say I have one.

  • Simon says:

    How much does it cost?

  • Simon says:

    How much does it cost?

  • Gabe says:

    I work with children and adolescents with autism and other pervasive developmental disabilities, and an appliance like this could do wonders for increasing independent life skills!

  • Gabe says:

    I work with children and adolescents with autism and other pervasive developmental disabilities, and an appliance like this could do wonders for increasing independent life skills!

  • guest says:

    BLUH BLUH BLUH! I'M TOO LAZY TO PRESS BUTTONS ABOUT MY FOOD!

    Dude, you guys are not considering the possible applications of a refrigerator that tracks the food you have available, even past the recipe idea. It would be a very easy way to store information, at a glance, for grocery lists… It would keep track of what you used when you used it.

    And dude, in an age when everybody seems to subsist on fast food, having a device in your kitchen that stores recipes and is able to give verbal commands on how to make them… Basically, it's like finding a cooking show online, except that rather than having to search for it, find someplace to balance a laptop, and work with ingredients very near valuable technology, the fridge is right there, doesn't need to be moved or messed with… It's convenient. Very very convenient.

    I am so sick and tired of every good idea on this website being insulted by lazy pessimistic idiots.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because walking ten feet to the left to look up a recipe on your ACTUAL computer, that's not lazy – that's innovative.

  • guest says:

    BLUH BLUH BLUH! I'M TOO LAZY TO PRESS BUTTONS ABOUT MY FOOD!

    Dude, you guys are not considering the possible applications of a refrigerator that tracks the food you have available, even past the recipe idea. It would be a very easy way to store information, at a glance, for grocery lists… It would keep track of what you used when you used it.

    And dude, in an age when everybody seems to subsist on fast food, having a device in your kitchen that stores recipes and is able to give verbal commands on how to make them… Basically, it's like finding a cooking show online, except that rather than having to search for it, find someplace to balance a laptop, and work with ingredients very near valuable technology, the fridge is right there, doesn't need to be moved or messed with… It's convenient. Very very convenient.

    I am so sick and tired of every good idea on this website being insulted by lazy pessimistic idiots.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because walking ten feet to the left to look up a recipe on your ACTUAL computer, that's not lazy – that's innovative.

    • Any says:

      I agree. People here suck. I bet you if this is made i could sell a lot of these to people who would love it. And these idiots who don't want it don't need to have it. There are many people who would love it!

  • Stoycho says:

    the perfect bachelor fridge for guys that can't cook.

  • Stoycho says:

    the perfect bachelor fridge for guys that can't cook.

  • Lissa says:

    Its an excellent design and I believe it would be a great idea once the bugs are worked out. The recipes would be handy and Im sure there would be a way to quiet it down if you really wanted to! As for not learning the art of cooking, you need to learn to gain skill. This could teach a lot of people how to cook healthier and broaden the horizon for those who can cook.

  • Lissa says:

    Its an excellent design and I believe it would be a great idea once the bugs are worked out. The recipes would be handy and Im sure there would be a way to quiet it down if you really wanted to! As for not learning the art of cooking, you need to learn to gain skill. This could teach a lot of people how to cook healthier and broaden the horizon for those who can cook.

  • eni says:

    I love the idea, but many recipes call for items that one does not refrigerate, such as flour, pasta, spices, etc. Thus many of the suggested modifications in the comments- and the original design- don't really take this into account. When people shop, they usually divide their groceries into separate bags based on which need refrigeration and which do not. I'm not trying to sound lazy here but I doubt many people will (remember to) input groceries that they are not actually putting into the fridge. Obviously the use of RFID or scanable receipts would probably address this, but still something to think about.

  • eni says:

    I love the idea, but many recipes call for items that one does not refrigerate, such as flour, pasta, spices, etc. Thus many of the suggested modifications in the comments- and the original design- don't really take this into account. When people shop, they usually divide their groceries into separate bags based on which need refrigeration and which do not. I'm not trying to sound lazy here but I doubt many people will (remember to) input groceries that they are not actually putting into the fridge. Obviously the use of RFID or scanable receipts would probably address this, but still something to think about.

  • Pokey says:

    Why do you even need to walk up to it? You should be able to do the same thing from your smartphone even if you're not in the house.

  • Pokey says:

    Why do you even need to walk up to it? You should be able to do the same thing from your smartphone even if you're not in the house.

  • rainmain says:

    when you can put your groceries in, then ask it to whip up a meal for you, then we might be on to something. But honestly, do we need another talking appliance? I think people are desperate to utilize touch screen technologies just to give them a reason to exist. Seems to me we've been doing just fine without them for a few million years already.

  • rainmain says:

    when you can put your groceries in, then ask it to whip up a meal for you, then we might be on to something. But honestly, do we need another talking appliance? I think people are desperate to utilize touch screen technologies just to give them a reason to exist. Seems to me we've been doing just fine without them for a few million years already.

  • Add a barcode scanning camera to input food, and have it store a list of recently purchased foods you can select from. That should make adding your foods almost painless.

  • Add a barcode scanning camera to input food, and have it store a list of recently purchased foods you can select from. That should make adding your foods almost painless.

  • Justin Smith says:

    Why stop at just food? I can see this having a multitude of applications that you can either download for free, or purchase. Think of this as a very large, and somewhat specialized Ipad for your diet, and you could have some interesting possibilities.
    1. Diet plans: Not sure how much that slice of left over pizza is going to cost your callory count? The fridge will tell you! On a diet and need a little enforcement? The fridge can be a reminder. Mind you, its only useful if you listen, and don't shut it off.
    2. Goodbye flimsy magnet-supported pictures, hello digital pictures. Make your fridge match the decor. Have updated facebook photos of the day! Your husband out on business is there to greet you when you get breakfast. Dayplanner right there on the fridge.
    3. Why stop at audible directions? Youtube in your kitchen. Want to watch your cooking shows but don't want to install a TV in there or risk your laptop's safety when the food starts flying? Good Eats is right there on the door helping you along.

    I see so many possibilities, once you figure out a way past the "Input" food concept.

  • Justin Smith says:

    Why stop at just food? I can see this having a multitude of applications that you can either download for free, or purchase. Think of this as a very large, and somewhat specialized Ipad for your diet, and you could have some interesting possibilities.
    1. Diet plans: Not sure how much that slice of left over pizza is going to cost your callory count? The fridge will tell you! On a diet and need a little enforcement? The fridge can be a reminder. Mind you, its only useful if you listen, and don't shut it off.
    2. Goodbye flimsy magnet-supported pictures, hello digital pictures. Make your fridge match the decor. Have updated facebook photos of the day! Your husband out on business is there to greet you when you get breakfast. Dayplanner right there on the fridge.
    3. Why stop at audible directions? Youtube in your kitchen. Want to watch your cooking shows but don't want to install a TV in there or risk your laptop's safety when the food starts flying? Good Eats is right there on the door helping you along.

    I see so many possibilities, once you figure out a way past the “Input” food concept.

  • RwB says:

    I've visited this website many, many times while using Stumbleupon. com. I've seen some designs for things I would not use, things that didn't need to be improved upon, and things that didn't make any sense at all. That being said, this appliance "upgrade," although carrying a hefty price tag I'm sure, would be great! The RFID scanner would be nice! Weight scales would be handy, as well as smart phone apps to help when shopping and inputing food purchases from the market would "simplify" things. Regardless of all the people stating they don't have the time to stand at their fridge and input the groceries they're puting in it… seriously? You took the time to look at this (my opinion) AWESOME smart appliance idea, scrolling down and reading all of the other people's comments, adding your own. If you have the time to do that, you'd have the time to press a screen and select the menu item that represents the food you're putting in the fridge.
    By the way, I too am tired of seeing all the insulting comments, but enjoy the helpful ones. 🙂

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