a blog from CenturyLink

What is a smart fridge?

by | Sep 8, 2022


You’ve just pulled into the grocery store parking lot. You reach into your bag for the grocery list… and it’s not there. You forgot it at home, again. We’ve all been there, stuck trying to remember what we even needed from the store. Once again, smart technology is here to save the day. With a smart fridge, you’ll never need to remember to bring your grocery list with you again. You’ll be able to simply to check the corresponding app on your phone and either review your digital grocery list or look at what’s already inside your smart fridge.

How does a smart fridge work?

Couple using their smart fridge

A smart fridge is an enhanced version of your favorite kitchen appliance (unless you’re a huge fan of toast, in which case it might be your second favorite appliance). Connect your smart fridge to your home WiFi, download the corresponding apps, and you’re all set. These fridges feature a touchscreen that lets you optimize not only your food, but your entire smart home in a variety of ways. With a smart fridge, you can:

  • Create schedules for household members.
  • Create profiles for each member to make to-do lists.
  • Leave messages for others using a whiteboard feature.
  • Look inside the fridge without opening the door, using a transparent touchscreen.
  • Set expiration dates and reminders to use up soon-to-expire foods.
  • Customize the temperature in each drawer or compartment.
  • Turn the icemaker on and off from your smartphone.
  • Automatically order items you’re running low on.
  • Create digital grocery lists that sync to your smart phone.

Keep in mind not all smart fridges will have everyone one of these features, as they vary by brand and model.

Creating a digital grocery list

Woman creating a digital grocery list with her smart fridge

With a Samsung smart fridge, you can make grocery lists that sync to your smartphone. The Family Hub panel on the fridge comes with the Shopping List app, so you can open and add to your grocery list from anywhere. With Alexa built in, you can simply ask the voice assistant to add items to your grocery list. Your fridge keeps track of the items you have inside with either a bar code system or with cameras installed inside. This way, you can double-check the contents of your fridge while you’re out shopping.

You can even order groceries online, get recipes and meal plans, and easily keep track of what’s in your smart fridge. Family Hub lets you control your Samsung smart appliances and devices, stream music, and share pictures with your family—all from your fridge.

Smart fridges and accessibility

Smart fridges have sensors that eliminate the need to open a heavy or inaccessible door. The sensors respond to a light bump and automatically open the door for you. Other fridges have a sensor at the bottom so that a wave of the foot will trigger it to open. Another option is to use the transparent touchscreen feature to avoid opening the door altogether. If the door doesn’t close all the way, the sensors will automatically shut it fully to protect your food—and your energy bill.

Because some smart fridges connect to voice assistants, such as Alexa and Google Nest, they eliminate the need to press tiny buttons or look at a screen. You can simply tell the voice assistant to add items to your grocery list or read you the steps to a recipe.

Smart fridges and sustainability

Man using a smart fridge to be more sustainable

Along with being a great option for those who need accessible features, smart fridges also appeal to those trying to live more sustainably. Your smart fridge can let you know when items are getting old, so you’ll remember to use meat, dairy, and produce before they spoil. If you accidentally leave the door open, your fridge will securely close the door for you and help conserve energy. You also have greater control over the lights and temperatures in different drawers and compartments in your smart fridge.

Green America offers some other suggestions to use that can make your refrigerator more sustainable:

  • Maximize the efficiency of the fridge and freezer by keeping the coils clean.
  • Fill empty space in the freezer with jugs of water.
  • Shop from stores that use climate-friendly cooling appliances.
  • Recycle and replace your old refrigerator (and other electronics) responsibly.

Other ways smart tech can improve your life

Whether you’re a busy parent, college student, or small business owner, smart technology can improve your life—or your business. Smart pet technology can help us take better care of our furry friends. And smart gardening tools can help you create your dream outdoor space.

Would you consider buying a smart fridge? And if you already own one, how has it impacted your daily life? Leave us a comment below.

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<a href="https://discover.centurylink.com/author/emilyr" target="_self">Emily Richey</a>

Emily Richey


Emily Richey is the Content Manager for the CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber blogs. A recent graduate of Pace University NYC, she's an avid reader and writer. She spends most of her free time in bookstores and cafes, seeking the perfect cup of coffee.