The jet lag finally caught up with me as I was asleep like a log after returning from home last week. On one hand the tiredness creeping in because of the hectic few days at Messe Berlin; while on the other hand there was the reluctance to slip back into the monotony of daily life. Caught between the two, it was a proper “Aage kuaan pichhe khaaii” scenario (excuse the exaggeration)…..

But life has to go on. So I got ready for work and landed up at office only to find the hordes of pending work at my desk. Midway through some irrelevant web browsing I stumbled upon a news article for the unveiling of Haier Interactive Refrigerator at IFA Berlin 2012. As I read through the article, I realized that I had missed the opportunity to see something innovative. The fridge boasts of a Barcode Scanner to keep track of expiry dates and suggest recipes as per the stuff available in the compartment. It also has this tactile screen which becomes transparent for viewing food items in the fridge without actually opening it. Even LG has had a similar Smart Fridge which it plans to roll out in India soon. Sounds amazing at the first read doesn’t it? Till you actually try and understand what it might mean.

One of the first investments I made when I started working was on the LG Wonder Door Fridge and since then it has become my utility hub. Ranging from the Water Dispenser to the unique Wonder Door for quick access, the fridge has made my life a tad bit easier. The Health Guard system keeps food fresh for longer time periods (4-5 days even). The Paradise Biryani (famous in Hyderabad) is a testament to that as it was bought for me by one of my colleagues before I left for Berlin and it tasted fresh as ever when I helped myself to its last helping the day after. And the vegetables and fruits that I buy on a weekly basis stay fresh and bacteria free for a long-long time thanks to their bacteria killer technology. And the spacious inner compartments allow you to stack food for an eternity.

Coming back to the Smart Fridge; it will give you barcode reader and it also detects if any food has gone stale – in case you store it and forgot all about it for many days and weeks – and it will even give you the option of making grocery purchases through the Shopping feature inbuilt in the fridge with a click of the finger. Even though it sounds innovative in theory, there has to be a concrete network of vendor tie-ups for this feature to be successful. The concept of online grocery shopping is almost non-existent in India at present and even though sites like MyGrahak, DilliGrocery and BigBasket are catering to Indian consumers on that front; it will still take time for the fad to catch up with the mass population. The other features, even though futuristic, will be complex to articulate for an average Indian household. The gist comes out to be that these Smart Fridges of Haier will only cater to a selective consumer base, not taking geographical limitations into consideration.

The Wonder Door Fridge on the other hand is highly practical and utilizable in the Indian climate. I for one, applaud the companies for their forward thinking approach in this consumer segment but unfortunately it is quite a few years away from a concept to a usable reality. Till then, I will just enjoy the many features of my Wonder Door Fridge for a happy and convenient lifestyle!

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