According to a news story from Insider, Amazon may be working on its own smart fridge. Internally, the concept is known as “Project Pulse,” and it is being created by the same Amazon “physical-stores unit” that worked on the company’s high-tech Amazon Go stores.
It was gathered that that Project Pulse “is designed to watch your inventory and purchase habits, forecast what you desire, and have it delivered.” The smart fridge could also keep track of expiration dates, recommend recipes based on the contents of your refrigerator, and provide a simple way to order more food from Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods.
According to Insider, Amazon’s entrance into refrigerators has been in the works for at least two years, led by Gopi Prashanth, “a director of the computer and artificial intelligence.” According to the source, there’s no way of knowing if or when Amazon will release the device, but if it does, it will most likely cooperate with other manufacturers.
Smart refrigerators aren’t a new concept. Samsung and LG have recently released appliances that can recognize food, link to digital assistants such as Bixby, and, in certain circumstances, order additional items with ease. If Amazon is working on a fridge, its value proposition would be its grocery store network and the work it has previously done using machine vision to identify grocery products in Amazon Go convenience stores and Dash carts.
After years of research on Alexa, Amazon is well-positioned to undercut its competitors on pricing and simply integrate another smart home gadget into its ecosystem, as it has done in other product categories (most notably, thermostats). An Amazon spokeswoman told The Verge, “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”
Of course, take this story with a grain of salt. Amazon is large and well-funded enough to trial a lot of different things and never release any of them. Amazon’s product goals have likewise been hit or miss in terms of leaks and rumors. Bloomberg anticipated that the business would not reveal its long-awaited robot at its fall hardware event, but it did, prompting a slew of comments, including privacy concerns.
There’s no way of knowing what Amazon will do, but this is the business that stunned the world with an Alexa-enabled microwave, so what’s another appliance? We’ve already requested it.