If you’re like, well, practically everyone, the inside of your fridge is probably a dystopian nightmare: half-used bottles of condiments jammed into the doors, leftover boxes stacked precariously atop one another, limp broccoli tucked away in vegetable bins.
Earlier this month, The Wirecutter ran a fun piece on how to Marie Kondo your fridge. It’s packed with great advice on how to get rid of stuff and organize your food in a way that makes sense.
As I read through The Wirecutter’s tips, I started thinking about the new wave of smart fridges with cameras built into them. Both LG and Samsung showed off these camera-equipped fridges this month at CES, touting the image recognition’s ability to help you with grocery shopping, meal planning and recipe discovery.
Seems like these all-seeing, AI-powered fridges could also help out with food organization. At first, this may seem like a silly add-on. I mean, anyone can place a carton of milk in the fridge. But as The Wirecutter points out, not all zones inside a fridge are created equal. Some parts are colder than others (the back, bottom self), some slots are better suited for condiments (door shelf), and there are even food safety considerations (don’t place raw chicken on the top shelf).
So a smart fridge could suggest where to place an item inside the fridge based on what that item is. Or it could suggest arrangements based on expiration date so you’ll know which food is going bad first. And if you are using the embedded meal planning function, it could suggest grouping items together that will all be used in a specific recipe.
Again, I don’t think this needs to be a priority for appliance manufacturers. But it is a small step that could bolster the new features like meal planning they want to be adopted, and in a small way, could perhaps save us from our own dystopian levels of food waste.