Fridge and AI?

As time goes on, we are starting to see many applications of AI including cars, cellphones, alarms, and even our thermometers. With the inclusion of AI in our everyday-used objects, it makes our life relatively easy to live not having to worry about the things that used to be stressed a few decades ago. This decade has arguably seen one of the biggest times of technological innovation from iPhones to self-driving cars, but what about fridges? According to government data from the United States, almost 100% of homes have a refrigerator. That being said, 1.3 billion tonnes of food are also wasted every year globally. This waste accounts for a third of all food produced globally. But that’s where our technological innovation comes in!

Over the past few years, many companies, including Samsung, LG, and Amazon, have developed their own versions of a smart fridge. A smart fridge works just like any other fridge; however, the only difference is that it is connected to the cloud and keeps track of the contents in the fridge (in this case food). In terms of keeping track of the contents within the fridge, that’s where artificial intelligence comes in.

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The biggest application of artificial intelligence is in the cameras within these smart fridges. These cameras are the fundamental pieces of technology, which makes a smart fridge, “smart”.

With the use of deep learning, and natural language processing, the company’s software can detect different food items, and now, suggest different recipes based on the food in the fridge. For example, Whisk, a UK Startup, has developed an AI-powered fridge that identifies different food objects and suggests meals, and also helps users plan meals over the course of a week using both a web-scraping and classification model. Another recent example is a Brezzl, a Munich-Based Startup that has developed a product to be retrofitted into non-smart refrigerators instead. Their camera, Fridge-eye, can be attached to any fridge and takes a photo every time the door closes. Moreover, the images are then stored in an accompanying app using a classification model, which can be used when users are out shopping and can check to see what’s in the fridge at home.

Although smart fridges are new pieces of technology, they are rising fast. Many companies are investing in smart-fridges and the technology to make the kitchens smarter. Examples listed in this article are beta versions, which are still under-development! Thus, imagine in a few years time what artificial intelligence can do and with the combination of various types of models, the features they will uncover to make our homes even smarter!

Author: Jaival Patel

Turner Fenton Secondary School at Brampton, Ontario