From the horse’s mouth
Samsung is still pushing the Internet fridge idea further by integrating Amazon’s Alexa as an alternative voice-driven home assistant for that product class.
The Internet fridge, a very mythical product class associated with the dot-com era, is a household fridge-freezer that has Internet connectivity and a large built-in display. It also is expected to provide inventory-management for the food supplies in your pantry and fridge as well as being a digital communal noticeboard for the household and a user interface for the smart home.
But Samsung has refreshed the Family Hub internet-fridge platform to the sixth generation and has built in software support to work with either the Alexa or their own Bixby voice-driven home assistant platform. It is also part of integrating the Family Hub with the Mattter Connected Home Alliance that embeds Connected Home over IP along with Zigbee Alliance.
Alexa users have access to the Amazon online services along with an ever-growing pool of Alexa Skills developed by various third parties, as if you are using an Echo smart speaker. Let’s not forget that the idea of running Bixby and Alexa on the one device is part of a direction Amazon is heading with their Voice Interoperability Initiative and other projects where they want Alexa to work alongside other voice assistants or allow a device manufacturer who has their own voice assistant to run Alexa alongside it.
It is also very similar to Samsung allowing users to choose between their Bixby voice assistant and the Google voice assistant on their Android phones. That is although Samsung hasn’t bitten the bullet and joined the Voice Interoperability Initiative themselves.
This can work with any Samsung Family Hub Internet fridge built since 2017 i.e. the second-generation and newer Family Hub products. Here, you are meant to be able to add this functionality as if you are doing a software update for these products. It underscores the reality with fridges that they are expected to last a long time.
It certainly shows that Samsung has its mind invested towards the Internet fridge idea and will keep working on it in the form of a platform that works across a range of their fridge types.