Refrigerators can do a lot more than we have ever anticipated them to these days. We’ve seen fridges with LCD touchscreen apps that will allow you to access the weather, doodle notes or recipes, and browse the web. Yet none have been able to accomplish the simple task of recognizing when to stop filling up a full glass of water.
Meet the new line of General Electric’s french door refrigerators. These new fridges will contain “Hands-free Autofill” and “PreciseFill” systems which utilize an ultrasonic sensor to detect how much water to dispense into your containers. This means you can leave a glass, a cup of tea, or a bowl of oatmeal under the dispenser, select hot or cold water, and walk away while the fridge figures out how much water to fill in. The technology derives from the similar concept that the auto industry currently uses to fill up fuel tanks in locomotives.
“Our commitment first and foremost is to simplify and streamline the consumer’s world, applying innovations in a way that makes home life easier,” said John Boyd, refrigeration marketing manager for GE Appliances. “There’s more to a refrigerator than just storing food and beverages and keeping them cold. The industry-first features in our new French door models provide convenience, efficiency and bring ease to the hectic lives of busy consumers.”
The water dispenser will also have a built-in filter system that has been verified to remove 98 percent of five trace pharmaceuticals (ibuprofen, atenolol, fluoxetine, progesterone, and trimethoprim) from drinking water and ice. You can easily change the filter when the time comes by locating the system behind the fridge door.
If you don’t regularly know when to routinely maintain your refrigerator, the new GE fridge models will also integrate a “smart meter” that will supply maintenance information on all your GE appliances so you know how much energy each item consumes and receive service alerts whenever necessary. You can access this information from your computer or straight through a smartphone app to adjust ways you use your electronics and minimize power consumption. Of course, GE has created the fridges to meet and exceed Energy Star standards, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the bottom freezers, for a more environmentally-friendly home.
The GE Profile model, which contains the smart water dispenser, is expected to arrive to retailers in June while the GE Cafe, which has the ability to heat up hot water directly from the dispenser in as little as two minutes, will appear in the fourth quarter of this year. The Profile will be available in 27 and 29-cubic-foot models while the Cafe is limited to 29-cubic-foot, and both will come with five adjustable settings for meat, beverage, produce, cheese and citrus. You can also customize the fridge with LED lights, such as red, green, blue, aqua and purple, to match the temperature setting you’ve chosen or the type of produce you have stored in the fridge.
Expect these refrigerators to cost you anywhere between $1,699 to $2,999.