A fridge's function is pretty simple: keep food cold. Maybe act as a repository for childhood paintings/ancient Chinese takeaway menus/souvenir magnets from forgotten holidays to Corfu.
Well, not according to Samsung. The electronics company's new refrigerator has a remit that extends far beyond stopping milk from going lumpy.
Advertised at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Samsung's recently developed smart fridge features a giant 21.5-inch vertical touchscreen built into one of its doors.
Photos of the fridge were released on Samsung's official Flickr page and in a product announcement on the company's Korean site. As The Verge reports, Samsung says its "Family Hub refrigerator" also features an inbuilt camera, accessible through the touchscreen and remotely via apps. The camera keeps track of the fridge's contents, monitoring when food is about to spoil and telling you whether Tuesday's leftover chow mein is still good to eat without actually opening the door.
The fridge can even send "D Day" alerts to a linked phone, reminding you when food is starting to go bad—an exciting prospect for anyone who has ever forgotten about a pot of Greek yogurt long enough for it to grow a fur jacket.
If linked with a partnering supermarket, Samsung also says that users will be able to order replacement food through the fridge's onboard operating system.
As if these food-monitoring features weren't enough, Samsung's futuristic fridge also includes a stereo speaker system and news and weather updates on its touchscreen display. Because who doesn't want to read the day's headlines and find out whether it's going to rain later as they reach for a pint of semi-skimmed?
The company has yet to announce when the fridge will be available to buy but it is estimated to cost within the region of £2,700.
Suddenly, opening the fridge door and giving that tub of cottage cheese a cursory sniff doesn't seem like such an inconvenience after all.