Coming from a desire to prevent waste and limit the amount of food we chuck out every week, comes an interesting kitchen gadget called FridgeCam (Available on Amazon). It’s a smart camera that retro-fits into any fridge, turning it into a smart one (without the bank-account-pounding price tag of the Samsung & LG fridge refrigerators).
This guide will cover everything you need to know about this high tech DIY fridge cam. We’ll help you decide if it’s a gimmick you can do without, or a money saving-wonder your smart kitchen can’t do without.
What’s a Fridge cam and why should you care?
Like the smart kettle’s we’ve featured previously on SmartTechStuff, you’d be forgiven for wondering why you’d need your fridge to be any smarter than it is? Hold that thought! There’s a few no-BS benefits to making your humble cold storage a bit smarter.
See exactly what’s in your fridge
FridgeCam is a small, USB-charged camera that you attach to the inside of your refrigerator door. It takes a photo each time you close the door, and then interacts with your smartphone in a number of money-saving ways.
“There’s no need to spend six grand on a new smart fridge freezer”
What’s the point?
We’ll get into all the clever things this little fridge camera does in a sec. But first, what’s the point in all this? Sticking a camera in your refrigerator? Why, oh why? There’s really two main reasons you’d stick a FridgeCam in your fridge:
1) Stop food waste
It’s a noble aim that will not only save money off your bill, but also make better use of your weekly shopping. If you didn’t already know, over 7 million tonnes of food gets wasted each year by UK households. On average it costs each of us around £700 per year in terms of waste!
2) Stop you running out of ‘stuff’
This is a real pet hate of mine. Running out of something and not being able to make that dinner I’d planned. Or just running out of the essentials, like milk and eggs. There’s nothing worse than wasting half an hour going to the real, actual ‘out-there’ shops. Yeesh.
Check out FridgeCam at a previous Smarter CES stand, for a good overview of what it c an do.
Here’s a list of things you can expect if you opt for the DIY smart refrigerator route:
- Reduce food waste by up to 50%
- Takes a picture each time you close the door
- Sends images, alerts and messages to your smart phone
- See what you need, wherever you are
- Learns what is running low, so food doesn’t run out
- Best before tracker alerts you when something needs using
- Suggests recipes to use what you have
- Link it up with Amazon Alexa and use your voice with FridgeCam
- Stops you over-buying food – by knowing exactly what you have in stock
Who makes this fridge camera?
FridgeCam is made by a company called Smarter. If they sound familiar, they’re also the Internet sensation behind the popular smart kettle, iKettle.
7 Things you might love about FridgeCam
#1 Expiration countdowns are incredibly useful
Ever have something in your fridge but when you go do use it you’re like “ARG!” It’s a day past it’s best-before?
Yeah, it hurts
It’s not nice to have to chuck out that couscous that looks so tasty! Easily done – in life, there’s more important stuff going on than keeping track of the best by dates on your produce.
This is where FridgeCam comes in. While I can’t be bothered to keep track of when my orange juice is going to go off, the cam does. Well, the smart part of it does anyway. The camera hasn’t actually got much to do with that bit.
#2 There’s no need to spend six grand £££ on a new smart fridge freezer
Well… unless you’ve won the lottery, I guess! In which case, skip this and enjoy your shopping spree.
FridgeCam adds similar functionality to what you’ll find in the new breed of uber-expensive smart fridge freezers. Brands like LG and Samsung have products in the WiFi food monitoring market now, and watch for newer ones coming in 2020.
The good news is you get to keep your trusty old current fridge / fridge freezer. That’s because FridgeCam can be retro-fitted to any existing fridge. Once installed (which is quick and easy) the camera does all kinds of handy stuff to help you save money and use what you’ve paid real money for.
“This little DIY smart cam packs some seriously next-level tech”
#3 It will remind you to pick up more milk when you’re at the supermarket
Feel like getting bossed around by a camera that lives in your refrigerator? What a strange world we live in today. FridgeCam will send a message to your phone when you’re out, using Geo location, if it thinks you’re in, or near a supermarket. Now you’ve got no excuse not to stock up on supplies when you’re out and about.
#4 The battery lasts 6 months
If only all batteries lasted this long. As there’s no live view on the DIY fridge camera (I mean, who would want a live feed of their fridge?) The camera is dormant around 99% of the time. This means that the battery life will last a very long time. It’s actually easy to recharge, but it’s also nice that you don’t need to do that very often.
#5 It will give you recipes to try out
This bit is super-smart. The FridgeCam will actually have a look at what’s in your fridge and suggest some dishes you could rustle up, based on what it finds there. If your fridge has a moldy carrot and some hot pepper sauce, it might have it’s work cut out. But, hopefully, there’s at least something in there it can work with.
#6 The price is currently decent
While things change on the Internet pretty quickly, at the time of writing, the FridgeCam has had a huge amount lopped off it’s price. If you’re looking for a low-cost alternative to a full-blown smart fridge, now’s your chance. Check the latest price on Amazon.
#7 The eerily clever tracker
Here’s something that’s actually pretty amazing. This fridge camera actually uses some advanced AI algorithms (thanks to a new update patch) which tracks what’s in your fridge. You look at the pic on your phone, drag a box over the food item, and then the tracker will know when it’s removed. It will then be added to your next shopping list.
This little DIY smart cam packs some seriously next-level tech!
Sources & Further Reading
- This article on the BBC website about food waste in the UK is an eye-opener, and well worth a skim read.
- Visit the official Smarter website for help and more info on their latest smart kitchen products
- If you’re interested in seeing the Samsung family smart fridge, mentioned in this review, in action, there’s a good video of it here: