Samsung adds Bixby and a better speaker to the Family Hub smart fridge

We knew heading into CES 2018 that voice assistants would be everywhere in our electronics this year and we haven’t been disappointing. Samsungs Family Hub smart fridge is getting some important updates this year, with the addition of their voice assistant Bixby, which was introduced on the Samsung Galaxy S8, but is about to come to the kitchen.

After first introducing Family Hub at CES in 2016, the Tizen-based display has continued to accumulate features (some software, many hardware) which makes original owners probably feel a little out of date and with zero upgrade path. That aside, what’s on offer in 2018 is fairly compelling.

Family Hub will now offer a wide range of smart features that allow consumers to do what they could not do before. These include syncing up food storage with meal preparation, keeping family members better connected and organized, and providing enhanced entertainment. Family Hub is also more intuitive and intelligent with the addition of Bixby voice control and its integration with Samsung’s SmartThings IoT ecosystem.

Now here’s the problem for Aussies, SmartThings hasn’t launched in Australia. So what does that mean, the fridge is the same price and the feature is disabled? The better answer is that Samsung should launch SmartThings here as its one of the best IoT platforms for those looking to build a smart home with IFTTT powered automation.

Senior Vice President, General Manager of Home Appliances, Samsung Electronics America, John Herrington said,

“Since Family Hub’s introduction in 2016, consumers have embraced it as their home’s digital command center to help manage food, family and fun. We’ve been listening closely to current users and created a new Family Hub that’s even smarter and more advanced than before,”

“The integration of Bixby and SmartThings into the Family Hub is bringing a new level of intelligent connectivity into the room where people spend the most time:  the kitchen.”

Simplifying Life with Connected Home Control

The new Family Hub works with the SmartThings ecosystem, allowing users to control and monitor their connected home from the Family Hub screen. The SmartThings app seamlessly connects the Family Hub with hundreds of Samsung and third party compatible connected devices. So now, in addition to seeing what’s inside their fridge from the grocery store or leaving a note on the White Board to remind the kids to clean their rooms after school, users can do countless other things without ever leaving the kitchen. These include seeing who is at the front door with the ring doorbell, adjusting the thermostat, checking on a sleeping baby in the next room, and more, right from the refrigerator screen.

Enhancing Food Management 

Family Hub helps consumers manage food, with the View Inside app that enables users to see inside the fridge from anywhere. New for 2018, Meal Planner takes food management to a more personalized level by providing recipes for the family based on food preferences, dietary restrictions and food expirations dates. Family Hub also saves time and money with a new Deals app that gives users the ability to find great bargains and save them directly to the Shopping List or loyalty card.

Strengthening Family Connections

The new Family Hub keeps the family more closely connected and organized, with the customized ability to share calendars, photos and notes. With Bixby, Family Hub can also recognize individual voices and provide personalized information based on preferences. Ask “Hi Bixby, what’s new today?” and it will provide a read out of the news, weather and calendar updates specifically tailored to the user.

Creating New Ways to Have Fun at Home

With innovative TV and music options, the original Family Hub transformed the kitchen into an area for socializing with family and friends. Users can access millions of songs through various music streaming platforms and live radio apps, and mirror their Samsung Smart TV. The new Family Hub also features AKG Premium Quality Sound Speaker for sound that is deep in bass and rich in mid-range. Additionally, users can now stream content from their smartphone to the Family Hub refrigerator.

Samsung is expanding the Family Hub’s range of content with new collaborations with leading companies like HomeAdvisor, Pinterest, The Weather Company and Buzzfeed’s Tasty. Samsung also continues to collaborate with key partners including allrecipes, ring, and Grubhub to further refine and enhance the kitchen experience and promote smart lifestyle choices.

Samsung will expand the platform to four new 4D FDR models, bringing the total to 14. This will ensure that there is a Family Hub configuration to meet the needs of all consumers.

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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