Samsung is expected to have a big presence at this week's CES 2018 but has reportedly decided to kick things off early, taking the wraps off a brand new 2018 edition of its Family Hub smart refrigerator. Although previous iterations of the Family Hub undoubtedly pushed the humble fridge into the modern era, Samsung has made some substantial changes for the new year. Family Hub (2018) will, of course, hold onto key features introduced in earlier smart refrigerators. For example, the internal cameras and screen which allow a homeowner to check what's in the fridge without opening it or via a mobile device from the grocery store are still present. Bixby makes a return, as well, but with several improvements.
However, Samsung obviously wanted to drag its smart refrigerator much further into the IoT and smart home categories. For starters, the newly included Bixby features nearly the full range of Bixby interactions and can even individually recognize household members to personalize responses. Meanwhile, the new Family Hub ships with SmartThings integration so it can connect and interact with compatible smart home accessories and products such as speakers, lights, thermostats, and cameras. Samsung has also included a range of new applications which can be accessed via the screen – including an intelligent Meal Planner that factors food preferences or restrictions into the recipes it provides and a location-based deal finder application called Deals. Taking things yet another step forward, the new Samsung Family Hub also incorporates AKG-branded speakers just below the screen, so users can play media through built-in apps or stream it from their connected devices. Presumably, that means that video content can be streamed, in addition to sound, either at launch or through a future update. The speakers themselves are described as being capable of putting out both deep bass and rich mid-range audio.
As to when the newest member of Samsung's Family Hub series of refrigerators will be available to purchase, the company has only provided a spring timeline. In the meantime, no price point has been revealed yet, either. However, with consideration for the number of features to be included, it probably isn't unreasonable to assume that the 2018 edition of Family Hub will sell near or just beyond the upper reaches of the refrigerator spectrum.