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GNU/Linux and Enlightenment Running On a Fridge

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the prince-albert-in-a-can dept.

Enlightenment 222

k-s writes "Linux, the GNU userland and Enlightenment and its foundation libraries (EFL) are known for their resource efficiency and flexibility, key components for embedded products. Today it was announced that such features led them to be used in a fridge that runs Linux and X11 with EFL. The Freescale i.MX25 based fridge by Electrolux (Frigidaire) provides the expected bits such as temperature controls and pre-set modes (vacation, party) as well as a special purpose drawer that cools your drinks and food with a beautiful UI. It also ships with handful applications for contacts, calendar, reminder, digital picture frame and even an illustrated recipe book from a famous Brazilian magazine."

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Beer (2, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329124)

So, Linux can now keep my beer cold, but can it bring me a cold beer?

Re:Beer (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329162)

So now we can have our free as in beer and drink it too!

Re:Beer (1)

edcs (1931354) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329310)

So, Linux can now keep my beer cold, but can it bring me a cold beer?

In only 200 lines.

Re:Beer (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329578)

So, Linux can now keep my beer cold, but can it bring me a cold beer?

This is the fridge that makes the blitz! Think of all the girls!!! They will bring it to you!!! It's just about the girls man!!!

Cool..... (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329128)

It's cold out here all alone at the top with a nice UI.

Re:Cool..... (1)

ranulf (182665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329496)

I think it's cool from a geek point of view, but totally unnecessary.

Apart from the first couple of days of owning the fridge to set the temperature to something sensible, in the last 6 years, the controls I've wanted to use are "defrost" (once). I can also see the use for the "just got home from supermarket, chill a bit more please" button, but it's not something I need as I'm close enough to the supermarket that my food is still cold when I get it gome.

Re:Cool..... (4, Interesting)

Lloyd_Bryant (73136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329952)

Apart from the first couple of days of owning the fridge to set the temperature to something sensible, in the last 6 years, the controls I've wanted to use are "defrost" (once). I can also see the use for the "just got home from supermarket, chill a bit more please" button, but it's not something I need as I'm close enough to the supermarket that my food is still cold when I get it gome.

Just wait until they start putting RFID or something similar on food packages - then it'll be easy to patch in a "take inventory" mode, and have it tell you what you're out of.

Or for some of us, maybe a "time in fridge" monitor to warn us when something has passed "somewhat stale" and is heading towards "biohazard"...

Imagine... (0)

Dynetrekk (1607735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329146)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of those! The cooling needs should be taken care of quite nicely...

Interesting use of Linux (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329158)

Whereas most of the implementations of Linux out in the market are either invisible (routers) or phones or Android implementations, this is one of the first commercial applications that I've seen that really takes advantage of the flexibility of the OS. Of course Linux has a great kernel and network stack, but it also has good graphics and peripheral support.

It's pushing into an area where (strangely enough) Windows CE would have traditionally have dominance. Many "panel" devices on the market are WinCE based because of the synergy between the embedded OS and the desktop OS. But that synergy is a lot of hype, when you get down to it. Support for standards like TCP/IP is enough to connect two devices nowadays. Given that the fridge is always powered, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to have it run a webserver and service requests from DLNA devices around the house.

The built in applications here are interesting, but once true connectivity is achieved, that's when I think we will see the benefits of Linux as the base OS really shine.

Re:Interesting use of Linux (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329238)

"it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to have it run a webserver and service requests from DLNA devices around the house."

Oh please. This is sounding like one of those ridiculous Kitchen-Of-The-Future scenarios dreamt up by Honeywell or whoever in the 70s where we'd all be eating food cooked for us by a house robot, just updated for the 21st century. Networked hi-tech white goods may appeal to a small subsection of technology fans in their 20s but most people just want a toaster to be a toaster, an oven to be an oven and a fridge to be a fridge.

Re:Interesting use of Linux (2, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329266)

And this is why this is posted in /.

We're not "most people".

Re:Interesting use of Linux (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329356)

Then you're even sadder than most of the crowd here. You think that the guy that deals with stupid users and tech support all day long WANTS to come home and have to reboot his fridge? Or check the event logs to see why it didn't stay cold? Or have to fix it after the kids prod too hard / manage to crash the damn thing?

Not all techies want to live their live in a bad 1960's sci-fi movie. I'm quite happy to have a fridge be a fridge. Hell, my last model was the first that was auto-defrosting and that never works as advertised anyway. Sod having to come home to a flooded, smelly, damp kitchen because the damn fridge crashed because it was 2038.

Re:Interesting use of Linux (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329442)

Your argument seems to be along the lines of "If a fridge gets more complicated - then it'll stop being able to peform its duties as a 'keeping-cold' device". I would think (hope?) that:

1. The software is tested (or formally proven) - there are very little inputs to account for anyway
2. There is a backup in terms of a thermostat or a FLC (in fact, I'm 101% sure that you could do the 'different modes' using a FLC with a number of different rules depending on the mode chosen).

I'm pretty sure I'd prefer to check event logs then to just guess that the little piece of metal which is meant to keep my fridge at the right temperature failed to break the circuit because it broke, or got too cold and snapped or whatever.

Re:Interesting use of Linux (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329714)

"The software is tested (or formally proven) "

Believe me , *no one* is going to spend HUGE amounts of money formally proving software for a fridge that sells for $400.

Anyway , just reduce the chances of software failure to zero - don't use any. Which is the situation we have at the moment.

Re:Interesting use of Linux (3, Insightful)

profplump (309017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329864)

A) Many modern fridges do have software, they just don't have much of a GUI. It's cheaper, more durable, and more energy efficient to build real controls instead of thermo-electro-mechanical systems.
B) You have to control the fridge with something. If you don't use software you need to use some equivalent piece of hardware that can break in new and exciting ways and is subject to the same sorts of design flaws. Plus it's really hard to apply a patch to your mechanical thermostat if it does turn out of to be flawed.

Re:Interesting use of Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329894)

Proving the software is largely worthless when it runs on a massive operating system such as Linux. Look at Android, which should have been a simple platform... only that because of its foundation, each new release exposes dozens of bizarre kernel related problems. And then some modder ports the latest kernel version over, and history repeats itself.

It's a lot like when some application or computer game requires external scripting support, so the programmers decide to use Python. Only that, because Python is an incredibly complicated language best used for systems development, this inevitably backfires in some way, and the support issues are only worked out long after. Yeah, it's nice to have that power within reach, but it comes at a cost.

I don't think I've ever seen Linux 'done right' on embedded systems (e.g. check out OpenWrt, which is a great effort but quite alarming on several levels).

Re:Interesting use of Linux (1)

IronSight (1925612) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329460)

Sod having to come home to a flooded, smelly, damp kitchen because the damn fridge crashed because it was 2038.

You are acting like this machine runs windows 95 xD Not sure here, but I am guessing even if the kernel crashed the designers would be smart enough to setup the fridge portion of the machine to stay on. And I'm sure it was stress tested before the release. But I could be wrong. Since the gui on the screen *isn't* playing games or running web servers or running wine, you *really* shouldn't have to worry about any crashes. Most linux desktops these days are pretty hard to crash if you keep it simple as I suspect the design is.

Re:Interesting use of Linux (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329566)

Going by things I've seen and bought myself, from just about every major manufacturer and every product type I've ever used, I'd guess that the designers *weren't* that smart. If anything, I bet it goes into a default mode but removes all control (i.e. you can no longer control the thermostat) if it goes wrong. I'm not saying that's certain, or that it's the way to design such a fridge, but it's several hundred layers of unnecessary bullshit in order to keep your food cool.

Hell, we don't even know if the thing actually keeps on working if that machine crashes - nowhere does it give anywhere near enough details to discern that, or exactly what it *does* control. What's the life on a touchscreen? What's the life of an ARM embedded thing running Linux? What's the life of whatever storage medium it uses to do all that fancy stuff (e.g. write cycles)? What's the replacement cost of that part if it fails? What's the cost price of the unit? What's the warranty on those parts?

Now, does it run for 15+ years like every refrigerator I've ever seen / bought / used? I've yet to throw away a non-working fridge, or to have to perform more than trivial maintenance on one. Throwing technology at something like this doesn't make it better. This is a classic example of good advertising - people like you will buy it when in fact a much cheaper, much more reliable fridge is available in any second-hand electrical shop for much less than the price of other gadgets that replace EVERY function it has and more. Please don't cry when you have to buy another one after two years.

Re:Interesting use of Linux (2, Funny)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329592)

Whats a Fridge? By the sounds of the previous comments it sounds like my icebox, you know the thing that I put the big block of ice in to keep my food cold for a few weeks? Dunno about this whole fridge thing, sounds kinda flaky and unnecessary I mean you can't go wrong with an icebox can you? It's a box with a bit of ice. Nice, easy simple. And well we're on the subject you can keep your electricity and indoor plumbing, who wants to live in a house that can spontaneously catch fire or flood? Not me that's for sure.

Re:Interesting use of Linux (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329660)

Nice try with the analogy. Didn't work though. Ice boxes failed when the ice melted so it was an imperfect solution. A fridge however carries out its design task perfectly.

Re:Interesting use of Linux (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329642)

Looking at the photos on the Electrolux Flickr page, I'm going to agree with you that the implementation leaves much to be desired.

They provide apps like "photos" and "orkut" and other things that really don't belong on a refrigerator *in that form* because the refrigerator has a very short use case duration.

However, that doesn't mean the general concept is bad. Connectivity is a good thing, though I think most people get hung up on the concept of "the refrigerator will track my purchases and tell me when stuff goes bad". And that's a pretty lame use case. But there are others that do make sense, such as dynamic energy usage, remote power management, system status self-report, among others that would typically be relatively invisible to the user.

The only time you would use these features is when you need them, such as turning off the refrigerator when on vacation (and having it override you if there is anything likely to spoil).

It can't do this without network connectivity, and if it intends to provide a service outward and to grow in features, a server of some sort is a necessary feature.

The obvious and visible features are what we see first, but the real benefits are in the ones that blend in as natural features.

Electrotux? (4, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329170)

...

Re:Electrotux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329918)

They should use IceWM. Tsk. Unless Enlightenment is planned to work when the door is opened... B^]

its first command (5, Funny)

nthwaver (1019400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329180)

sudo make me a sandwich

Re:its first command (3, Funny)

TheCreeep (794716) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329704)

*Bzzzt* There. You are a sandwich.

Re:its first command (4, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329804)

sudo make -k me a sandwich

FTFY. Must continue despite errors. Wouldn't want to not have any sandwich at all, just because you're missing the pickle.

Re:its first command (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329824)

Wow, what a coincidence. That was the first command I *tried* using on my wife after we got married.

Re:its first command (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329962)

Strange name for a woman, Sudo, she a foreigner?

I always said... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329200)

...linux is cool.

Yes I know, painful. I'm sorry.

Re:I always said... (1)

Cloud K (125581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34330052)

No need to apologise. Chill.

Much as I love Linux .... (3, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329204)

.... really , this is just crazy technology for its own sake. All I want from a fridge is to keep stuff cool. Thats it. I don't need a multitasking operating system to do that or any operating system at all in fact and nor do I need a fridge to tell me when I'm running out of milk - I can usually see that for myself thanks - or re-order stuff for me since I might not want the same things again the following week thanks.

A fridge IMO is one of the white goods in which the KISS principal definately should apply.

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (1)

Pflipp (130638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329254)

> All I want from a fridge is to keep stuff cool.

Adding linux makes it 100% cooler.

Plus, the fridge obviously keeps the computer cool. Win-win. Help global warming!

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (1)

nickruiz (1185947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329282)

A fridge IMO is one of the white goods in which the KISS principal definitely should apply.

But what if your fridge could eventually adjust its temperature, based on the contents inside? Assuming that the fridge could have regulated compartments, you would no longer have to worry about your vegetables freezing while you're trying to keep your beer cold. Or, alternatively, maybe your beer doesn't have to be so cold when you're on vacation. One more way to help the average consumer save on energy costs.

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (1, Informative)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329334)

It's called a thermostat. Or possibly, if you want to get REALLY advanced, a couple of them. As would be required for any computer-controlled system too.

Other than that, you've just complicated a mechanical problem to that of a fridge that occasionally requires rebooting, that the kids will crash and that won't perform any better than a non-techy fridge.

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329528)

You mean there could be vegetables and beer in a fridge at the same time? That's preposterous!

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329618)

Yeah, who buys vegetables? Now steak & beer, that's a whole different story.

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329572)

There are already compartments in my fridge for that purpose. Regulation is done by standard mechanics and if I go on a holiday, I just either turn the fridge down by hand or off (and open) if it is a longer vacation.

Do I think it is fun to have a fridge running Linux with a nice GUI? Yes. Would I buy one? Most likely not.

Most likely not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329616)

What, you're hoping you'll strike it rich?

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329302)

Exactly. I find this kinda fun:

"the Infinity I-Kitchen provides the user with unparalleled control over his refrigerator"

I don't know about that. Unparalleled control? How? Already I can open fridge, close fridge, put in and remove stuff from fridge. Oh and set the temperature. That's about how much I wish to care about my fridge.

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329550)

Exactly. I find this kinda fun:

"the Infinity I-Kitchen provides the user with unparalleled control over his refrigerator"

I don't know about that. Unparalleled control? How? Already I can open fridge, close fridge, put in and remove stuff from fridge. Oh and set the temperature. That's about how much I wish to care about my fridge.

That just reminded me of this......http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQHX-SjgQvQ

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329546)

The digital air conditioning units shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan have a slight problem. They were not tested in that environment so the electronics would die. The units have no backup. You can't just hack something up due to the way it's designed. So they are pilled up waiting on parts that the vendor does seem interested in sending since they're too busy sending more units that will break.

The people who repair these have been forced to give up the ultra reliable ac units so they've been stripping everything off them except the serial number and turning the remains in. Then they use those parts to repair units that they can keep or build units from scratch. These have parts that can be repaired in the field up to and including had rewiring and hand making contacts for the contactors and other interesting hacks.

The joy of open source sustainable hardware versus the hell of single source supplier.

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329560)

For my current fridge, due to failures in the control panel circuit, the control panel was replaced, the entire fridge was replaced and the control panel on the replacement was replaced and this is for a much simpler control unit. This is unnecessary complexity. If you need a kitchen computer, buy a kitchen computer.

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (3, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329604)

Relax dude, these complicated new fangled horseless carriages also won't ever succeed...

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329786)

If horses could already do 70mph , run for hours without a stop and be refilled in minutes they wouldn't have done. If you've already got something that works fine why replace it with something that is more complicated, probably more expensive and doesn't do a better job?

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329948)

Horseless carriages are more complicated, more expensive, and for the kinds of transport people were already doing with horses, typically not any better.

You're letting your lack of imagination get the better of you. Currently your fridge doesn't do anything except regulate the interior to some specific temperature. But imagine any of these improvements, which didn't take me 3 whole minutes to concoct, and which are entirely within the limits of current, consumer-priced electronics and computing capabilities:

A) Better energy efficiency by tracking usage patterns and adjusting the cooling cycles to match -- if it's 5 PM and nearing the setpoint maybe we let it warm up another 4 degrees because you're likely to open the door in the next 30 minutes. Maybe at night we run longer, more widely spaced cooling cycles because we know the door rarely opens to lose our cold air. Maybe we coordinate with the A/C to not run at the same time to limit overall household current draw. Or any of 45 other improvements related just to when and how you do cooling control that are impractical with simplistic control mechanisms.

B) How about version 2.0 of this that includes a handful of force gauges on the shelves. Now I can take out some food and have the fridge automatically track my serving size, emailing it to my desktop for us in tracking my diet. Or the next version after that, that integrates a camera so I can read UPCs and track weights. And now that I know what items are in the fridge and how quickly they're being used, I can let the fridge build a shopping list. Or I can connect to it from the office and ask it if there's any milk left.

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34330180)

Maybe at night we run longer, more widely spaced cooling cycles because we know the door rarely opens to lose our cold air.

You know that fridges only run the compressor when they warm up inside, right? So if you don't open the door, they don't warm up as frequently and the compressor stays off.

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (1)

vandan (151516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329902)

:) Was thinking something very similar, just as I came to your post.

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329792)

A fridge IMO is one of the white goods in which the KISS principal definately should apply.

Hell, I want my stove to not even have a clock. It's just one more device that I need to reset after DST or a power outage, but units won't shut up about setting the time after a reset.

I mean really, how many people have actually used the timer functionality to automatically turn /on/ a roast at a certain time? What I'd want is perhaps a countdown timer, but /that/ feature isn't on any stove that I'm aware of.

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34330008)

Instead couldn't you have a network-connected clock that didn't need setting? And now that you've got a network connection, wouldn't it be handy to leave a roast in the oven and turn it on an hour before you head home from work? Or to have your desktop notice that your phone is out-of-range and put the entire kitchen in "away" mode to ensure you didn't leave the stove or coffee pot on? Or to have your freezer scan the UPC of the pizza you're removing and signal the oven with the correct temperature and cooking duration, so you can just hit "start" instead of manually entering the data? Or have the oven reduce the cooling sensitivity of the local climate control system to avoid over-cooling while it's throwing out heat?

"Simple" is a matter of perspective. Today you've got a whole slew of manual steps that could be completed automated. The devices would be more complicated internally, but most people would consider them easier to use once they got used to the transition. Consider today's cars vs. those from the 70s. Today's cars are certainly more complicated, but they also go longer between regular maintinance, have more and better failsafe/limp-home modes, and provide significantly more self-diagnostic information to facilitate repairs. Which version better adheres to the KISS principal?

Re:Much as I love Linux .... (1)

merdaccia (695940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329812)

None of us on /. need a fridge to tell us we're running out of milk. None of us have milk, you insensitive clod.

PS. Don't kiss your principal.

Sirius Cybernetics Corporation (1)

tancque (925227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329228)

Have they been programmed with a cheerful and sunny disposition?
If so... no thanks.

Phone call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329274)

Hello, there's a Penguin in my refrigerator!

Re:Phone call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329320)

Does it taste like chicken?

Linux on a fridge (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329276)

thats cool!

Mass quantities of Bass Ale (1)

koekepeer (197127) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329324)

E16 used to check for 'mass quantities of bass ale in fridge'... has this now become reality? I'm impressed

Re:Mass quantities of Bass Ale (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329444)

It's E17 actually.

Re:Mass quantities of Bass Ale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329886)

... and Bass is always best from the pub, served at a proper temperature (i.e. "warm" to former colonials and former prime ministers).

Call me (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329326)

Call me when it uses *less* power than a regular fridge.

Possible uses... (2, Interesting)

IronSight (1925612) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329346)

Well, it would be cool to have a list of contents with the date they were put in so you can keep track of things that need to be thrown out (useful for foodservice industry to keep only fresh foods on hand). A timer app to beep when you need to pull the turkey out in case your stove doesn't have a timer (I know my gas stove doesn't). Of course the recipe app they mentioned is a good idea. Temp contols aswell. An app that checks the compressor status and other things (like those industrial air conditioners they use in server rooms to track humidity and such) with suggestions for optimal performance at low power cost for your fridge like, "Hey don't hold the door open kid!" for my son when it detects the door has been sitting there open for 2 minutes. A passworded door lock so your kids don't try to climb in playing "hide and seek" or try to take a beer out when you go outside for 2 minutes. Any other cool ideas?

Re:Possible uses... (2, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329432)

"Well, it would be cool to have a list of contents with the date they were put in so you can keep track of things that need to be thrown out (useful for foodservice industry to keep only fresh foods on hand)."

So you want to sit and enter a date for every item you ever put into your fridge? As far as I know, no barcode contains data about expiry dates. If you did, you'd need one on every product. Then you (and your kids) would need to scan everything in and out in order for it to be anywhere near accurate. I'd predict about a month before you got bored and never used that facility ever again, or before you got tired of starting to cook and then realising your son ate your cheese without scanning it out.

"A timer app to beep when you need to pull the turkey out in case your stove doesn't have a timer (I know my gas stove doesn't)."

Buy a 50p kitchen timer.

"Of course the recipe app they mentioned is a good idea."

Wanna have to keep running to the fridge to read the next line of the recipe? Need to keep updating those recipes every week or so? Much simpler to print them out from the net, buy a recipe book and / or buy a cheap device that can display PDF. Not to mention having to buy the damn recipes in the first place.

"Temp contols aswell."

Really? Because fridges don't have those already?

"An app that checks the compressor status and other things (like those industrial air conditioners they use in server rooms to track humidity and such)"

So you can micromanage an environment that you will actually see no advantage to just setting it to a half-decent setting on any modern fridge? I have other things to spend my time on than micro-managing my fridge's environment. Hell, I don't even manage the server rooms in work to this level of detail. So long as it's not an oven in there, with alarms going off, I don't really care. Same for my fridge - no frost, not hot, that'll do. It's not like there's much you can *do* about it even if it is overly humid, etc.

""Hey don't hold the door open kid!" for my son when it detects the door has been sitting there open for 2 minutes."

Educate your son. Get a modern fridge that has a timer with beep-warning. Fit one of those 50p reed-switch sensors you can get to protect doors and windows and set it to a 10 second timer. None of it will stop your son doing that (in fact, for the first few months, he'll do it deliberately to make it talk to him!).

"A passworded door lock so your kids don't try to climb in playing "hide and seek" or try to take a beer out when you go outside for 2 minutes."

You need to supervise your kids better. If they're really that much trouble, a 50p child lock on the fridge will tend to take care of them (higher the better). Don't buy fridges that lock their doors (silly American idea? I don't know but ours are just magnetic catches and they work just fine - even my 2-year-old can open it). And if your kids are stealing your beer, that's not a problem that a gadget on a fridge should be solving.

"Any other cool ideas?"

Yeah, stop over-thinking a household appliance. Yes I *can* connect my toaster to the Internet. There's not a single practical reason why I would ever want to and all the good reasons are actually better done by other methods (and almost infinitely cheaper).

To quote XKCD: God, I'd like to file a bug report....

Re:Possible uses... (0, Troll)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329600)

Woah, someone didn't get take their nap today.

Re:Possible uses... (1)

IronSight (1925612) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329646)

Those are some good points there. And I'm not saying my kids are jumping into refridgerators or stealing beer, or standing in front of the fridge for an hour, but I am just trying to think of practical uses for such a thing on a fridge. They aren't great examples I know, but it was more of an attempt to make people really think of what real use in the kitchen would a computerized fridge really be. Personally I have an older fridge that came with the apartment, that I wish the landlord would replace for a more energy efficient one to save a little on the power bill and I would be happy.

Re:Possible uses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329978)

Wanna have to keep running to the fridge to read the next line of the recipe? Need to keep updating those recipes every week or so? Much simpler to print them out from the net, buy a recipe book and / or buy a cheap device that can display PDF. Not to mention having to buy the damn recipes in the first place.

Well... actually, I use a netbook for all my recipe needs in the kitchen. Much easier than getting the book out, looking for the specific recipe, etc.
Additionally I can cross-reference multiple recipes and check which one suits my own tastes best by simply opening multiple tabs in my browser, instead of littering the (rather constrained) work area in my kitchen with multiple recipe books...

Re:Possible uses... (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34330120)

Apparently it's inconcievable in your world for your fridge to scan the UPC to determine the content of the container and assume a typical expiry period based on the product type and an assumption that the first time it is scanned is within the first day or three of the product's life.

As for tracking, things with UPCs could be easily tracked with no modification of user behavior. Even things that lose their UPC with use could be tracked -- cheese is scanned when first put into fridge with intact UPC. Cheese is removed, item with no UPC but with similar but slightly less weight and size is replaced in the next couple of minutes, assume it's the same item even without a scan unless there's conflicting data. And the inventory system doesn't need to be 100% accurate to be useful -- as long as you're aware that it can only reliably track things with UPCs you will know to only ask it about such things.

Your lack of imagination also shows in control automation. There are lots of things you could do to automatically optimize energy usage/etc. well beyond what it possible with a passive feedback loop without any manual intervention on the part of the user. You could also provide a degree of control to someone who is interested in managing your fridge -- the power company for example. You might let them adjust your regulation setpoint up a few degrees on high-load days in exchange for a better energy rate. Or they could lower the setpoint a few degrees overnight when more energy is available in preparation of an expected high-usage day -- having a lower morning temperature means you fridge would run less during the day. Or if you're running on solar or battery or some other limited-power system you could have the fridge coordinate with other appliances to ensure your instantanious load is not too high without the need to manually coordinate all the different devices in your home.

It's frankly absurd to extend your viewpoint to "all reasonable people" just because you can't be bothered to imagine uses for products beyond your traditional experience. People had exactly the same arguments against cars and electricity -- they couldn't immediately understand how it would fit into their existing lifestyle, so they dismissed it as useless and impractical technology of the sake of technology. Don't be that guy. Particularly not in writing on a technology forum.

We don't need networked kitchen appliances. But we don't need trains either. That doesn't mean there's no practical use for them.

Re:Possible uses... (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329474)

I just want to know if it has an RJ45-connector. :-)

Re:Possible uses... (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329482)

I guess I mean socket.

Re:Possible use: cold war (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329644)

Shall we play a game?

But does it run Linux... (1)

definate (876684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329350)

But does it run Lin.... oh it does? Carry on then.

Re:But does it run Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329416)

Sure it runs linux, but it ran netbsd at least 5 years before anyone knew it was going to be made :-p

*yawn* (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329390)

So what? Over a decade ago we had washing machines and fridges whose GUI was written in Java.

Re:*yawn* (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329428)

Now the two machines can communicate and provide useful feedback.

Washing machine: I'm sensing higher than normal levels of nitrates
Refrigerator: This may be related to the recent purchase of bacon
Scale: User's weight not significantly changed in last 2 weeks
Refrigerator: Bacon is most likely culprit
Cashier: I'm sorry, sir. Your credit card has disallowed the purchase of bacon, hot dogs, and Spam. It suggests bottled water and cranberry juice.

Automatic update to your medical records could work too.

Re:*yawn* (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329450)

But this has effects from Enlightenment, which makes it so much better. :-)

Re:*yawn* (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329720)

AKA "The little light in the fridge that goes on when you open the door"

Security updates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329532)

Does this mean that I have to download regular security updates for my fridge?

Just watch this... (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329570)

It'll get pwn3d soon enough, and some poor sod will wonder why he suddenly has 200 kilos of sardines in his fridge....

Dialing it in (3, Funny)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329608)

*ring ring*
"Yes hello?"
"Excuse me, is your fridge running?"
"Yes, it has an uptime of over 3 months now."
"..."
*click*

I think I'm doing something wrong here..

Pictures! (2, Informative)

jovetoo (629494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329634)

You can find pictures here... http://www.electrolux.com.br/ikitchen_ra/ [electrolux.com.br]

Re:Pictures! (1)

IronSight (1925612) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329730)

Very cool looking. A part of the ikitchen, wonder if Apple is going to hop on them for that name?

GNU/Linux and Enlightenment Running On a Fridge (1)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329670)

Cool!

Good thing it runs enlightenment (2, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329678)

If it had KDE, you'd need a 3GHz i7 and a NVidia GTX480 just to open the fridge in less than a minute.

Re:Good thing it runs enlightenment (2, Funny)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329766)

And if it was Gnome there wouldn't be a 'getting cold' functionality as it's for 'advanced users only'

*ducks*

"The Cramps" . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329696)

It's amazing how Slashdot can give me an oblique reference to a song, that no folks on Slashdot are old enough to have heard:

The Cramps Tv set Lyrics:

oh baby i see you on my tv set yeah baby i see you on my tv set i cut your head off and put it in my tv set

i use your eyeballs for dials on my tv set

i watch tv i watch tv

since i put you in my tv set

oh baby i hear you on my radio yeah baby i hear you on my radio you know i flip flip flip for my radio you're going drip drip drip on my radio am radio pm radio since i tuned you inside my radio... like this!

oh baby i see you in my frigidaire yeah baby i see you in my frigidaire behind the mayonnaise, way in the back i'm gonna see you tonight for a midnight snack but though

it's cold you won't get old 'cause you're well preserved in my frigidaire yahhhhhhh.

Big question (1)

harris s newman (714436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329708)

I went to the site but couldn't find the source code. Where is the source code?

Re:Big question (2, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329772)

Just trolling?

Source code for anything GPL isn't required to be given to anyone other than those who have a product containing it. If you bought a fridge, then you are entitled to the source to it. Seeing as I don't think they are even on sale yet, it'd be difficult for you to obtain the source code you desire. Even then, it'll only be an ARM linux kernel with some desktop widgets and a closed-source application for doing anything interesting - it's a bit pointless to even *ask* for it, to be honest. TomTom do the same - but they are generous enough to post the source for *anyone* to download, which they aren't required to do - and it's basically an ARM kernel and some open-source projects. Nothing vaguely interesting that we don't already have because that's all contained in a closed-source app that actually does the things like read maps and draw them.

Re:Big question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329844)

He was just trolling. E17 is licensed under BSD.

Re:Big question (1)

k-s (162183) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329780)

Should be in their website (electrolux.com.br) when the product hits the streets. Even the source code for BSD components will be there.

But does it run... (1)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329742)

But does it run....oh wait. Never mind.

Interesting, but... (3, Funny)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329768)

How does price/performance compare to a toaster running NetBSD?

Re:Interesting, but... (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34330030)

It's getting warm.

useful (0)

tjk94943 (1946642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329794)

Thank you for sharing this. It was a very useful technique, in my günstig [uggbootssa...chland.com] online, you can use it freely

All of this... (1)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329818)

... and yet, the clock probably still looses time when the power fails

How about some real news on Enlightenment ... (2, Informative)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329852)

... like 'Enlightenment 17 Final released'.

After all, it's only been in development for, what, 9 years or so?
That better be one helluva desktop enviroment when they declare final release. :-)

question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34329916)

How is cpu cooled?

the Infinity I-Kitchen provides the user (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329932)

with unparalleled control over his refrigerator,

How much control does a fridge need?

Sounds like a fridge from outer space to me (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34329946)

"The Freescale i.MX25 based fridge by Electrolux (Frigidaire) provides the expected bits such as temperature controls and pre-set modes (vacation, party)"
Expected bits? Preset modes? Pardon? Submitter must be from an altogether other planet where all the fridges hum cheerfull songs and do your groceries for you. My fridges, on the other hand, comes with a knob that reads 1-5 and controls the temperature. When I go on a long vacation, I pull the plug and jam the door with a stone so it won't stink when I return.

" as well as a special purpose drawer that cools your drinks and food with a beautiful UI."
I knew enlightenment was cool, but I now realise this is not only in a figure of speech kind of way. Frightening! Will it 'cool' my processor too?

"It also ships with handful applications for contacts, calendar, reminder, digital picture frame and even an illustrated recipe book from a famous Brazilian magazine."
Nifty! Nice recipes in Brazilian Portugese!

slashvertisment (1)

tenco (773732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34330124)

tagging's borken

Frigid (4, Funny)

iamamoose (243231) | more than 3 years ago | (#34330150)

Nice pic of the GUI on Flickr [flickr.com]

Looks like this appliance can do more than cool your food (see top left of image)

Free as in Beer? (1)

mlush (620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34330156)

Does that mean it contains free beer??
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