Smartphones, smart TVs, smart light bulbs, smart bloody everything. Smart home technology is so hot right now, with this year’s IFA bash absolutely full of the stuff. Even wigs will be connected to the internet. Probably. Hopefully.
One of the companies exhibiting its flashiest home gadgets in Berlin this week is Sharp, which seems to have its heart set on making the kitchen the central hub of your home.
The hulking and rather futuristic SJ-F1526ESA '4LifeHub' shows off the company’s vision pretty neatly. It’s a double French-door fridge-freezer with Wi-Fi connectivity, which is designed to act as a sort of linchpin for the rest of your home’s horde of smart devices.
As well as preserving your food and providing a safe environment for your toy alien to grow in, it allows you to control things like your dishwasher cycle, oven settings and washing machine cleaning cycle. As long as they’re internet-connected too.
How do you use it? Through a touchscreen or the Sharp Smart Home app, of course. The 4LifeHub features a monster 21-inch display you can prod and stroke with sticky hands, all while silently longing for the simple days of old, when fridge magnets were more than entertaining enough.
Sharp says it’ll also work as a sort of personal organiser, helping you plan your shopping trips by flagging up the quickest route to your local supermarket. It's also loaded with cameras... because opening your fridge door to look at your groceries is so last year.
On the traditional cooling side of things, it offers something called AdaptiZone, a handy feature that lets you convert freezer compartments into additional fridge space. Sharp also claims that NutriFresh technology helps your greens retain up to 60% more of their moisture, which is a good thing if it works.
Though I had a lot of fun inspecting it like a quizzical dog, the SJ-F1526ESA is concept product, and therefore not actually available to buy. Probably a good thing, as I definitely can't afford to upgrade my dumb dishwasher, oven and washing machine right now.