To most people a refrigerator is an essential kitchen appliance that not only keeps our produce fresh, but is a central place for families to leave messages – short notes, reminders, to-do lists and the like.
With this in mind, Samsung has upgraded this unofficial command centre to the 21st century with the Family Hub fridge. With a 21.5-inch full HD touchscreen, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities and even a Harman Kardon AKG speaker, this revolutionary new appliance promises to be able to schedule our day, plan our meals and even organise our grocery lists – but does it really live up to all the hype? SPH puts the fridge through its paces with busy DJ, Mom and entrepreneur, Maddy Barber as she goes about a busy workday.
4:30 am: Time to head out for work
As she hosts her daily morning radio show Maddy, Jason and Arnold in the Morning which starts at 6:00 am, Maddy has to wake up in the wee hours to get started with her day. This usually means she often whizzes off to work with just a flask of coffee or orange juice and leftovers from dinner.
However, this morning, she takes a little bit more time exploring her fridge’s new features. Using her voice, she calls upon Samsung’s voice assistant, Bixby, to give her the morning brief. Dutifully, the fridge pulls up Maddy’s schedule of the day, along with the daily weather information. “It’s nice to have a perky voice greet me in the morning when usually I’m the one doing it!” she jokes.
Excited by her initial success, Maddy is keen to explore the fridge further. She spies the Whiteboard app at the side of the touchscreen. “Ooo, what’s that?” she wonders. “Oh, I can leave handwritten notes? So handy! Now my family really cannot escape me. I know! I’ll remind my daughter Ally to shower,” she says with a big grin on her face. She spends another few minutes carefully crafting out her note before heading out the door to begin her day.
5:30 am: Arriving at the studio
Before the start of her recording, Maddy is usually going through her schedule on her phone – checking for meetings, or any memos happening later in the day. However, today, she has already done that at home before even getting into the studio, so she kicks back and relaxes with her flask of coffee.
10:15 am: Planning for the next day’s recordings
After her recording has ended, it is time to plan for the next day. Using the Samsung Family Hub application on her smartphone, Maddy pulls up the calendar feature and adds her schedule for the next few days.
“Hmm, I think Wez is free for lunch tomorrow,” Maddy muses. She double-checks with the Family Hub calendar and notices that he is indeed, free. “Okay great! I’ll ask him if we can go try that new café near Madly [her jewellery business] together!” she says excitedly.
1:00 pm: Putting on the ‘businesswoman’ cap at Madly Gems
As a multi-talented businesswoman, Maddy often has to wear many caps. After her gig at the Kiss92 studios, Maddy checks in on her own jewelry business, Madly Gems, at Tiong Bahru where she spends several hours attending to the accounts, marketing and business development of the company. After getting all that in order, Maddy is almost ready to go.
“Ally better have showered and finished her homework by the time I get home,” Maddy says. “I’ll send her a reminder memo just in case she didn’t read the giant notice on the fridge,” she laughs. “That girl is like a cat with water!”
4:30 pm: Checking for groceries
Before she leaves, Maddy opens the Family Hub application once more and taps on the View Inside button. “It’s so great that I don’t have to call or hassle anyone at home to check on food supply and what’s in the fridge now.” Within a second, Maddy is now peering into the inside of her fridge. “So it seems my milk is expiring and I’ll need to get some more,” she says.
As she inspects the inside of her fridge more, she comes across a new function on the app. “I can label my things?” she says, amazed. “Is there anything you can’t do with this fridge?”
After she is satisfied with labelling all the items in her fridge, Maddy creates a new shopping list from the Family Hub and heads down to the supermarket to pick up the groceries. “This makes grocery shopping a breeze!” she says happily.
6:00 pm – Preparing dinner
After reaching home, Maddy begins to put away the groceries and prepare for family dinner. “Family dinner is a really important time for us. With me juggling multiple jobs, my daughter’s busy secondary school schedule, and my husband running businesses that are in different time zones, we all have pretty full-on schedules, and dinner is the only time we can come together without any distractions to share about our day and have a laugh.”
“Sometimes I watch cooking videos for some inspiration for new dishes to try at home, so we’re not bored of the same recipes. I also have a dodgy memory when it comes to recipes, so the fact that I can look it up here is great! Now I have no more excuses to delay my debut as the next Singaporean Nigella Lawson,” Maddy chuckles.
7:00 pm – Family dinner
While Maddy gets the family together for dinner, she finds the Smart Things tab on the application and hits enter.
“I’m going to connect the app to my Powerbot Vacuum, and now cleaning can begin even while we are enjoying our dinner. “But hmm, I really hope my dog doesn’t get shocked when it starts turning on remotely!” she giggles.
“I think my day with the Family Hub has been an astounding success!” shares Maddy. “I can really see how it can fit into my lifestyle. Initially, I thought who needs a fridge with all these bells and whistles? It’s going to be too complicated - too atas for me, but in this instance, I’m glad to be proven wrong!”
With that, Maddy turns around and turns on the Tune-In Radio app. “Now, is there any way that we can schedule this so that we can auto-play my show in the mornings?”
*Subject to device compatibility.
Family Hub™ features require an internet connection and the Family Hub™ app. Family Hub™ app is compatible with Android 4.4 and later or iOS 9.1 and later. Apps and services are subject to change without notice. Data usage fees may apply.