Future Haus – Open the Fridge Door, Hal

Future Haus Open the Fridge Door, Hal

The refrigerator of the future will do more than just keep your food cold. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Open the fridge door, Hal.

Wheeler: In the refrigerator we have under the milk here there’s a pressure plate and this pressure plate is sensing the weight of our milk bottle here. Over here on the screen you’ll see how much that weighs, but also from the grocery store you can log into your refrigerator and you can see how you’re doing on milk and how you’re doing on other things that you’re monitoring.

Smart refrigerators are just one of the modular high tech components in Future Haus a project developed by Joseph Wheeler, co-director of the Center for Design Research at Virginia Tech.

JM: So I’m in the store. I can simply dial up my refrigerator and it’ll say, assuming the milk is sitting on the pressure sensor, we’re low on milk..

Wheeler: It will and because when the milk was heaviest, it also knows the date. So you may have a half jug of milk there, but if it’s over 30 days old, it’ll let you know that as well. Where this really works is something like yogurt or sour cream. Typically those are in opaque containers and even if you look in your fridge you don’t know how old they are. How often have you opened the lid and say, “oh, that’s bad. We got to throw that away.” Well, here it’ll let you know when it’s bad, because it knows the age of it.
We’re starting to work with the Department of Gerontology and we’re looking at how can we make the kitchen easier to use for elderly people. Like a refrigerator door. You know, that initial pull on a refrigerator door is pretty hard, because there’s that suction. If you notice we have – If we activate the fridge. Refrigerator open door open.

ambience: sound of motorized refrigerator door opening

Wheeler: See, it’s opened the door for us and now it’s easier to use.

We’ll hear more about Future Haus in upcoming programs. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Future Haus - Open the Fridge Door, Hal

Low on milk? Better call the refrigerator.
Air Date:04/24/2017
Scientist:
Transcript:

Future Haus Open the Fridge Door, Hal

The refrigerator of the future will do more than just keep your food cold. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Open the fridge door, Hal.

Wheeler: In the refrigerator we have under the milk here there's a pressure plate and this pressure plate is sensing the weight of our milk bottle here. Over here on the screen you'll see how much that weighs, but also from the grocery store you can log into your refrigerator and you can see how you're doing on milk and how you're doing on other things that you're monitoring.

Smart refrigerators are just one of the modular high tech components in Future Haus a project developed by Joseph Wheeler, co-director of the Center for Design Research at Virginia Tech.

JM: So I'm in the store. I can simply dial up my refrigerator and it'll say, assuming the milk is sitting on the pressure sensor, we're low on milk..

Wheeler: It will and because when the milk was heaviest, it also knows the date. So you may have a half jug of milk there, but if it's over 30 days old, it'll let you know that as well. Where this really works is something like yogurt or sour cream. Typically those are in opaque containers and even if you look in your fridge you don't know how old they are. How often have you opened the lid and say, "oh, that's bad. We got to throw that away." Well, here it'll let you know when it's bad, because it knows the age of it.
We're starting to work with the Department of Gerontology and we're looking at how can we make the kitchen easier to use for elderly people. Like a refrigerator door. You know, that initial pull on a refrigerator door is pretty hard, because there's that suction. If you notice we have - If we activate the fridge. Refrigerator open door open.

ambience: sound of motorized refrigerator door opening

Wheeler: See, it's opened the door for us and now it's easier to use.

We'll hear more about Future Haus in upcoming programs. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.