I certainly embrace the tech revolution and am excited to see all the Smart technology that is now available to consumers. However, I’ve lately been cynical about the overabundance of Smart appliances and consumer electronics.
An email pitch I found in my inbox for a Smart salt shaker put me over the edge. Now, if this salt shaker were so smart, an alarm would go off when someone tried to use an excessive amount of salt on their omelet with a verbal warning about high blood pressure. No, this Smart salt shaker just doubles as a speaker so you can listen to music at the dinner table and try to impress your friends by showing them how your salt shaker plays Pearl Jam.
I’ve found that the smartest technology isn’t always what we think of as “Smart.” My wife and I knew it was time for a new refrigerator. Our large, SubZero was over twenty years old and, while it still worked, we didn’t want to wait for it to die to get a replacement. I started looking at the new refrigerator models over a year ago. I knew we wanted to replace the SubZero (a dinosaur) with a large fridge, but it had to be counter depth to fit the space. I also started reading about the new Smart technology in the “latest, greatest” fridges. While the idea that the fridge would automatically reorder a bottle of ketchup from Amazon when it was running low, I wondered if that really should be one of our top requirements when selecting a fridge. Just because the engineers can turn a refrigerator into a computer doesn’t mean that is something we need in our kitchens.
The fridge we went with was Whirlpool’s French Door Refrigerator with Infinity Slide Shelf. Like the SubZero it replaced, Whirlpool’s model has monochromatic Stainless Steel. More important than having an interior camera so I can watch my salad dressing when I’m out of town, this fridge maximizes its space better than other models I looked at. It was designed to take advantage of every inch of space, and has a pantry-inspired layout with an industry-first infinity slide shelf so we can put small items and ingredients on the sides and large, high-traffic items in the center.
There are certainly some “Smart” aspects to it including being able to be programmed to know our family’s preferred glass size so we can simply have the fridge fill out glass with ice and water. The fridge has better lighting than its competitors and humidity-controlled drawers to maintain the right temperature for fruits and vegetables. I also liked the safety features on Whirlpool’s model like the Fresh Flow Air Filter.
The improvements over our outdated SubZero are too many to enumerate. My kids love the fresh tasting water and small, perfectly sized ice cubes. My wife likes how the new fridge is technically smaller than our previous fridge, but has far more interior space. I love how it allows our fridge to stay organized with the contents so easy to find. The model we selected is the WRF993FIFM with an MSRP of $3,699.00 at http://whirlpool.com.
The lesson I learned this summer is that “Smart” technology isn’t always what we think it is. Sometimes the smartest appliance is the one that maximizes its space, takes advantage of new innovations in lighting and puts an emphasis on safety. I might not be able to see a live video feed of the leftover chicken platter in the fridge, but I’ll be reassured that all our food fits neatly in our new fridge and will stay fresh.