General, Research, Technology

Why will smart refrigerators become useless soon?

In the early 2000s, you can use mobile phoneshad to call, write SMS messages and run a couple of simple games. To date, technological progress has jumped so much that with the help of telephones you can now communicate with people from all over the world, launch "heavy" games, and also shoot high-quality photos and videos. We don’t notice this, but over several decades not only mobile devices, but also household appliances “wiser”. For some, this will be a discovery, but there are already refrigerators on sale that can monitor the expiration date of products and order the ingredients that are missing for cooking. The owners of such refrigerators can only be envied, but soon they can all turn into bulky boxes with ice, which are practically of no use.

Want to buy a smart refrigerator? Maybe you should think carefully?

What can a smart refrigerator do?

At least the authors report this.British edition of The Register. According to them, refrigerators with large touch screens and the ability to connect to the Internet are hundreds of dollars more expensive than more modest counterparts. But at the same time, they will obviously perform all their functions only for a maximum of five years, while the service life of conventional refrigerators exceeds a whole decade. And all because for the operation of functions such as tracking the expiration date of food and ordering products in the store, you must connect to the manufacturer’s servers via the Internet. And manufacturers may well turn off their servers after a couple of years from the date of the release of the “smart” refrigerator. From this, in fact, no one is safe.

This is what the Samsung Family Hub looks like. Through the screen you can see what is in the refrigerator without opening the door

The duration of the period during which allrefrigerator functions will work exactly, depending on the manufacturer. Beko says it has been releasing updates for its home appliances for ten years. The South Korean company Samsung, which is also actively producing advanced models of refrigerators, promises to release updates for two years. LG, in turn, does not name specific dates and simply says that updates will be released as needed.

The reason for the breakdown of the refrigerator

It turns out that after the expiration of the support period,users may lose the features for which they bought “smart” technology. For example, here's the situation - the manufacturer stopped releasing software updates for the refrigerator, and a new version is needed to connect to the servers. There is no connection, and functions such as determining the shelf life of products through installed cameras require a mandatory connection - the refrigerator simply can not recognize the food.

In the future, large refrigerators may in general lose relevance, because products can be coated with a solution to increase their shelf life. For fruits, such a coating has already been created.

But in addition to the function of determining the expiration dateThere are other options in expensive refrigerators. For example, some models show recipes on the touch screen mounted on the door. All this information, of course, is taken from the Internet - when you stop updating updates and, especially, disconnecting servers, some users may lose the ability to quickly find recipes. You will be lucky only to those in whose refrigerators there is a built-in browser - you can simply “google” the necessary recipes.

Modern refrigerators not only keep food fresh, but also help learn to cook.

Reliability of technology

It may seem that these fears are sucked fromfinger. After all, many of us have old smartphones and tablets on Android, which a few months after the release stopped updating. And nothing - they still work fine, they install applications without problems and generally perform all their functions. Perhaps with the refrigerators and other household appliances the above problems really will not happen - if their system is based on Android. But with branded systems, difficulties can arise, and this has already happened.

And who else has a very old smartphone or tablet that still works great? Let's discuss in the Telegram chat

A good example. In 2016, Alphabet Corporation closed the startup Revolv, which allowed people to control the elements of a “smart” home using a smartphone. That is, the owners of the Revolv device could connect all their high-tech light bulbs, televisions, refrigerators and other devices to one center and control their work through a special application on the smartphone. But the problem was that the project was closed, the servers were disconnected, and user accounts were deleted. The company was ready to return the money to users, but they were just furious. Indeed, without all the “smart” electronics, their houses were practically left without light and protection - the security cameras also depended on the Revolv device.

Yeah, Revolv nobly patted the nerves of customers

Even if all the functions of the equipment continue to workin normal mode, when you stop issuing software updates, the devices will at least be in danger. The fact is that any “smart” technique can have vulnerabilities that hackers can take advantage of. There are a lot of such stories - there are viruses that penetrate devices and use their power to conduct large-scale hacker attacks. Well, there are plenty of standard scenarios when hackers learned personal data of users from household appliances. You don’t have to go far for an example - in 2015, attackers broke into the refrigerator and found out which login and password its owner uses to enter Gmail.

Here's an interesting topic for thought recentlythrew foreign journalists. And what do you think - are their fears worth attention, or is it panic out of the blue? Share your thoughts in the comments.