German manufacturer Liebherr presented a new range of intelligent refrigerators at this week’s IFA 2016 consumer electronics exhibition in Berlin. The intelligent system is designed to help consumers buy and store their food.
Liebherr has completely switched to environmentally friendly refrigerants propane (R290) and isobutane (R600a) for its entire range of refrigerators and freezers for commercial use in Europe. It now supplies over 125 leading brands including Heineken, Pepsi, Bitburger, Nestle and the Coca-Cola Company.
Its new range of intelligent fridges is based on Microsoft technologies and runs on a regulation module built on Windows 10 IoT Core. Customers can access their fridges and freezers remotely via an app connected to Liebherr’s SmartDeviceBox.
The refrigerators are fitted with an integrated camera that establishes an inventory of all items stored inside, which can be accessed via the application. With help of the voice recognition tool Media Intelligence Assistant, customers can add items to the inventory and prepare their shopping list.
In future, Liebherr plans to integrate a recipe comparison tool into the app, so that missing food items will be automatically added to the shopping list.
Internet of Things enables intelligent food consumption
The development of the new generation SmartDeviceBox is the second collaboration between Microsoft and Liebherr. It runs on Windows 10 IoT Core software and the Azure IoT Hub links different devices and software that can then be operated centrally via cloud-based systems.
In addition to the camera, the fridge stores other data for the consumer, such as temperature, compressor runtime and door opening time. The goal is to help consumers to achieve more efficient food storage and refrigeration management.