Turn Your Old Refrigerator into a Smart Fridge
DIY a Smart Fridge for a Fraction of the Cost
While smart home appliances offer compelling benefits, they also come with hefty price tags. Fortunately, you can turn your existing refrigerator into a “smart fridge” for a fraction of the cost with these forward-thinking tips.
- Tablet Functionality: The Samsung Family Hub™ Refrigerator comes with a handy Wi-fi enabled touch screen that turns the fridge door into an enormous tablet. You can effectively achieve this same result by attaching an Android or iPad tablet using mounts specifically designed for refrigerators. Since it will be stationed in the kitchen, consider optimizing the tablet with apps devoted to recipes, inventory, grocery lists and family events, such as chores, deadlines and appointments. Since tablets use modern solid-state hard drives, there’s no need to worry about magnetic damage. Just be sure to use a mount specifically designed for affixing tablets to refrigerators. If your refrigerator is stainless steel, you will also need to add adhesive strips to keep things secure.
- Entertainment System: The Samsung Family Hub™ Refrigerator also comes with built-in speakers that sync with TuneIn Radio and Pandora. By adding some magnetized Bluetooth speakers, you can sync up your fridge tablet to play Pandora, Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Prime Music. If you splurged on a large tablet, you can even stream your favorite shows while you’re cooking.
- In-fridge Cameras: Left your grocery list at home? Modern smart refrigerators typically include built-in cameras that let you quickly assess your inventory needs. You can mimic this capability by adding your own wireless Wi-Fi indoor HD security cameras. Just make sure you choose one that’s small, comes with night vision and is resilient to cold temperatures.
- Grocery Ordering Technology: Expensive smart refrigerators allow users to connect with Shop Rite or Fresh Direct to have groceries delivered to their doors. If you live in an area serviced by AmazonFresh, you can enjoy similar convenience with your “dumb” fridge by leveraging Amazon Dash on your mounted tablet. You can also check with your local grocers to see if they provide similar online delivery services.
- Prolonged Freshness: Certain smart refrigerators offer special cooling systems that keep food fresher. You can work around this technology by adding a handful of inexpensive crisper filters that reduce ethylene gas produced by ripening fruit. Since it’s this gas that causes vegetables and fruit to spoil, a few well-placed filters can give your produce a longer lifespan. Not only will you enjoy crisper, tastier fruits and veggies, you can lower your grocery bill and reduce unnecessary waste.
With some clever strategies, it is possible to trick out a dumb appliance to make it perform the way you want it to. Although you may not be able to achieve the same level of functionality with your old refrigerator, you can mimic many of the most popular smart-fridge benefits.
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