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Do You Need A WiFi Refrigerator?

wifi refrigerator

The Wifi Fridge. Tweet about what’s for dinner!

During my downtime last week, I had the chance to read the newspaper every morning. I generally hear about news online, but my parents subscribe to a daily paper, and I actually enjoy old fashioned newsprint when I have the opportunity. One thing I don’t enjoy are all the ads, but I did get a kick out of one flyer advertising new refrigerators with wifi capability! This brought on a whole new series of questions, mainly what does one do and who really needs a wifi refrigerator?

What You Get With Your Internet Refrigerator

Again, I had a little too much time last week, but I did find out that with a wifi fridge, you get a touch screen in the door. With it you have the capability of checking the weather, the news, looking for recipes, basically anything you can do online. You can leave notes to yourself or other family members, and most impressively, you can update your social media. I know my morning is not complete until I’ve Tweeted about having waffles or oatmeal for breakfast!

While all of this is cool, is there really anyone out there who would stand in front of the fridge to take care of online activities? Wouldn’t it hold up productivity if I’m trying to make a meal and someone is standing in front of the fridge? Will I ever get anything done if I keep checking my Facebook status updates?

The even better question is how much extra does all this fabulousness cost? I guess it depends on the brand, but it looks like touchscreen fridges are at least $500 more than their non-smart counterparts. This is on top of the higher end models as well. They aren’t putting wifi into basic old school refrigerators.

How Much Technology is Too Much?

It’s not just refrigerators. My Mom’s new Cadillac is all touch screen. Again, it is very cool, but one thing I notice about touch screens are how fast they tear up. You might get two good years before something goes wrong and has to be replaced. While it doesn’t cost a ton to replace a volume knob, I bet replacing a touch one is pretty pricey.  I guess that’s what companies are counting on.

Should We Go Back To The Dark Ages?

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. I don’t think I could go without a smart phone or some of the things we are able to do remotely. Jim and I are old, so I understand if you can’t remember the days of having to call airlines or hotels to book travel or if you have never had to use the actual Yellow Pages. Being able to pay bills, transfer money, or even make money with the touch of a few buttons or swipes is amazing, but I think we should also remember why we have technology. Is is to be cool or to improve our lives?

How Much Technology Do I Need?

I think with any purchase, technical or not, you always need to remember three rules that I’ve shared multiple times.

  • Is this something I need or adds value to my life?
  • Do I need it right now?
  • Is this the best possible price?

If a smart refrigerator answers yes to all those, questions, then you should go ahead and buy one. My guess is that anyone looking for a wifi fridge probably already has a smart phone, a tablet, and multiple computers. I doubt people are looking to simplify by doing their online work on the fridge. In that case, then no one really needs a wifi refrigerator. It’s another novelty that takes our money and gives us a few seconds of amusement.

For myself, I’ll stick to handwritten notes and magnets, and I’ll use my laptop or phone for status updates and recipes. Now if they ever come up with a wifi toilet, I’m going back to the analog age!

What is the weirdest use of technology you’ve seen? Would you pay an extra $500 to be able to Tweet from the fridge?

(Somehow my dog, Mo, has conspired today with Frugal Hound and they both agree that smart refrigerators

dog at home

I had fun with Frugal Hound!

would be ones that dispense food out to canines, not ones with a touch screen. You can read more about what they’re up to at Frugal Woods.)

 

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

28 comments

  1. I believe this is the reason why so many people are in debt because they want the latest technology. I live in Japan where technology is way ahead of its time. Here they have microwaves with a TV in front of it. I think its great and really want to purchase it before I go home, but I always come back to the question of do I really need a TV microwave or do I just want it. Hands down I just want it…

    • I can’t imagine! I’ve always thought having a TV in your kitchen is strange. Having one in the microwave would almost feel like Big Brother to me.

  2. I agree with Petrish, here. We are pretty minimal on the technology front, and I sometimes wish we had less techy stuff!

    • I love some of it, but it’s the whole gotta have the latest thing mentality that keeps people in debt. They buy because there is a newer, fancier model, not because they need it.

  3. “I know my morning is not complete until I’ve Tweeted about having waffles or oatmeal for breakfast!’ Lol, this is classic! The crazy thing is that with so many of these tech heavy items they break easier and thus require some sort of repair which only costs more money. My in-laws have some crazy expensive and high tech fridge, though it doesn’t have wi-fi, and they’ve had more issues than they would care to remember about with that thing and it has only cost them more.

    • Modern appliances are made to break. Our dishwasher is 10 years old and does not work near as well as it did when it was new. My Mom’s dishwasher was installed in 1987, and it works as good as the day it was put in. It almost makes me want to go to the used appliance store and buy old refurbished stuff.

  4. Hah! I would definitely not pay $500 extra for a wifi fridge! Oh my.

    But, Frugal Hound would LOVE a fridge that dispensed chicken and cheese for her on demand ;). We were so happy to host Mo today!

    • Thanks for having Mo. I’ve tried to tell her about all the good comments, but she didn’t feel it was worth waking up over. She did get excited that we had eggs tonight!

  5. I definitely do not need a wifi fridge. LOL I just have to laugh at this. Sadly, I bet there are people out there who just HAVE TO HAVE THIS.

  6. I don’t really understand the WiFi fridges. It’s not like a thermostat where it would be nice to adjust the temperature when you’re away. I’m totally failing to see the benefit.

  7. I think I’ll pass on the Wi-Fi fridge until I can tell it to prepare my meals for me while I’m on my way home.

  8. Unless that fridge actually cooked me dinner, I see absolutely no need. It’s probably for rich people who want to spend their money on the latest and greatest thing even though it really adds no value to their life. Silly stuff 🙂

    • I do think lots of it has to be just to say you have one. Did anybody really need to camp out to be the first to have an iPhone 6? Doubt it, but I’m sure people did.

  9. I’m actually worried that by the time I need to buy another car, it’ll be impossible to get one that isn’t “smart.” I agree with you that it seems like a way to generate a lot of repair bills.

    • I’m also worried about that fact. Hopefully, you can order old fashioned as an option. I don’t live in my car, so I don’t need it to have wifi. I think that might cause more wrecks. Even if it’s hands free, you’re still distracted.

  10. I’m with Tonya – if the fridge actually prepared dinner for me, then I would happily hand over an extra $500 for it, but the ability to check email or tweet from fridge – is well, weird. I’m old too, so I definitely remember the yellow pages, having to get up and physically change the channel on the TV, etc. 🙂 I love technology but sometimes it’s a bit much!

    • It does seem weird to Tweet from an appliance. You’d think they could make it fix dinner or something more useful.

  11. Do I need a Wifi fridge? No. Is that technology pretty cool? Yes! I can see value in the kitchen for searching online for recipes. Although I can easily do that on my phone or iPad. I also think it’d be cool place to leave notes for the family. I don’t think we’ll be upgrading to that though.

    • I agree it’s very cool, but you’re right that anyone who has a wifi fridge likely has a smart phone or table right there already.

  12. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. I don’t want to or need to spend that much time around my refrigerator, that I have no clue why I would need it to have WiFi. It blows my mind what people think they “need” because I am sure there are people out there that have rationalized that they need a WiFi fridge. Makes me wonder what’s in the rest of their homes.

  13. I heard about this on the radio and the feature they talked about most was that you can see what’s in the fridge without opening it. It has some sensors or something. Well how about just opening your fridge and looking? It continues to work for me. Sounds like a whole lotta money wasted.

  14. What strikes me is that these crazy so-called advancements are solely related to the consumerism of our society. Manufacturers constantly have to come up with some new and outlandish product to continue driving sales. And as you said, make them wear out sooner. They have to create a new, must-have feature so that customers will keep running back to hand over their money. That sentiment wasn’t always prevalent in society. But since it is now, you can bet that everyone is going to keep fighting for their piece of the pie.

  15. Hmmm … well, I suppose if you’re a minimalist you might want this? You could get rid of your computer and tablets and have it all right there! Think of the possibilities;0) At night when you want to check social media, you can just cozy right up to the fridge. Can you hook it up to a printer though?! Gotta have a printer. Interesting indeed!

    • That’s a great question. Can I print from my refrigerator? If so, yes, it would be the one stop electronic and culinary appliance.

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