Proving that the Internet has the potential to impact on even the most everyday items – such as those sitting in your kitchen – a team at Telstra Research has devised the Internet Fridge.
The most visual parts of the Internet Fridge include its large touch-sensitive display on the outside of the door, the barcode scanner at waist-height and the cable trailing out the back for connection to the Internet. But as well as looking impressive, the fridge’s applications provide a significant enhancement to the most basic of kitchen routines.
For instance, instead of leaving messages to other household members by sticking them on the fridge with a magnet, messages can be emailed directly to the Internet Fridge’s display from any email account or WAP phone.
Similarly, children’s artwork can be emailed straight to the fridge door and the latest take-away menus and advertising offers can appear on the fridge and then disappear when out-of-date.
A shopping list can also be created by swiping the bar codes of empty products in front of the fridge before throwing them out. This list can then be read on a WAP phone when out shopping, or if you are really in a rush, the supermarket can simply deliver the products to your home.
But perhaps the most powerful aspect of the Internet Fridge is its integration with other household appliances. Any of the lights in your home can be turned on or off from an icon on the display panel, while the air-conditioning, spa and alarm system can all be controlled without leaving the kitchen.