There have been some great technological innovations in the past century or so. Many of them have been to make the things people do on a regular basis easier than they used to be. Which is something of a tall order considering how things used be.
Do you know what a mangle is? I certainly did not until I heard an anecdote about my grandmother using one. I encourage you to look it up. Those days are long gone. No more do we have to endure anachronistic horrors like mechanical typewriters, local general stores and dial up Internet!
While still somewhat short of rocket cars and robot maids, the world of the future, as it has been promised since the days of Jules Verne, is manifesting more and more everyday. First there was the Internet. Then electric cars. Then a free-standing 3D projector as seen on Star Wars. Now there is the Samsung refrigerator.
Samsung refrigerator: Substance over style
There is a notion in the public imagination, at least in the West, of future devices being sleek and well, pretty. Something the marketers, as Apple, understood perfectly. There are stories about Steve Jobs, after being ousted from Apple in the early 1980s and started NeXT computers he insisted that the casing be perfectly square.
He is also the one that made the casing of the Apple Classic to look like a face and referred to the original iBook as being worthy of being displayed in an art gallery. He even had the team that worked on it sign the inside of the casing of the first working model.
What he may have lacked in terms of concrete programming and engineering skills, he understood design better than almost anyone in business and knew more about showmanship than P.T. Barnum.
It has also had a major influence on what we expect innovation to look like. Which is part of the reason why so many were surprised to see what looked like a giant iPhone stuck on the front of the Samsung Refrigerator.
Looks are not everything
As the designers at Volkswagen and Lenovo can attest, something does not need to be pretty to be functional or useful. Attractiveness really having no relation to utility. One of the great advantages to the notorious panel, ugly as it may be, is that it can be used to order fresh groceries as soon as you notice that you are running low.
That is correct. You did not read that wrong. Those agonizing trips down to stores to buy food, like some sort of medieval peasant, are at an end.
Nuts and bolts
One of the things that makes the fridge work, is the Samsung Hub. In addition to the Samsung Hub, there is a payment app made possible by MasterCard, sorry Visa users. While the choice of sources for the food are currently limited to FreshDirect and ShopRite, the ability to get essentials such as milk and beer without the need to put on pants is truly a boon for the species.