If the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator looks like a tablet stuck on the outside of a fridge, the new LG InstaView Signature refrigerator’s right-side door looks like a Microsoft Surface. The smart fridge features LG’s InstaView technology — turning from opaque to transparent — but it also turns into a computer, running Windows 10. The Signature fridge was on display at IFA 2016 in Berlin, and it shows that the connected fridge is sticking around for the foreseeable future.
Last year, we saw the InstaView at IFA. You knock on the door, and suddenly the dark face becomes transparent. The idea is that you can stare into the depths of your fridge without the door hanging open, wasting energy and warming up your perishables. It’s using the same technology for the smart version of the fridge. “It’s a new technology developed by LG. It’s a mirror that can go dark, go transparent, or can have information on top,” Claudio Scuratti of LG’s Italian appliance division tells Digital Trends.
Samsung introduced its Family Hub at CES 2016; it’s got all kinds of apps, from a recipe finder to a couple ways to do grocery shopping to music players. LG clearly wants to follow suit, with plans to include apps like Pandora and calendars. You’ll be able to drag stickers around the screen, attaching expiration dates to your milk, which you can see behind the screen.
LG doesn’t have a ton of details about the apps and widgets it plans to offer, however, but it wants to make it a collaborative process with third-party developers. “In the future we plan to introduce an open system,” says Scuratti.
While he says the side-by-side smart fridge should appear on the European market by the end of next year (and it will likely to come to the U.S. at some point as well), LG doesn’t yet have pricing information. Considering the non-Windows French-door InstaView has a suggested retail price of over $8,000, it will likely be a pretty pricey purchase.