Writing always makes me hungry and I’m starting to wonder what’s for dinner when I get in from work. Hopefully that leftover eggs benedict will still be OK? Maybe I need to go to shops on the way? But if I buy some pasta have I got any sauce? First world problems indeed but I bring you good news. Samsung have just solved this one with their new smart fridge which has a built-in webcam that you can get inside your fridge while your still at work and remember that you are fresh out of sauce – and if those eggs benedict have gone a little green around the edges.
This the kind of baby step which just might catch on. It’s a far cry from the plan to have every plastic fridge pack chipped and chatting to the internet to find out whether it should throw itself in the trash or offer itself up to the frying pan along with those ready to eat edamame beans in the salad drawer.
Also, I’m reading the ‘Monetizing Innovation’ by Madhavan Ramanujam and its key point is getting the customer involved early in the design process. The foreword tells how Porsche got rid of their famous 6 speed transmission in favour of cup holders on their Cayenne and rescued the business – all because they talked to the end users all the time they were designing it. On the other hand, Dodge made a total flop of their Dart vehicle despite it being based on an Alfa Romeo. Their mistake? Totally ignoring the customer and letting their engineers run riot towards the designers dream which turned out to be the customer’s nightmare.
Innovation is change that improves the quality of people’s lives and in business it is change that customers will give you cash for.
So, I wonder how the customer interviews went at Samsung as they were creating their new smart fridge. Were there really no innovations without crossing a fridge with a laptop? There’s lots of clever stuff to be done with fridges without the use of silicon chips. How about saving energy by opening the doors differently? How about a truly versatile shelving and storage system that adapts intelligently when the holiday Turkey won’t fit? And there are many better ways to transfer coolth (which is the opposite of warmth!) from the compressor to the food -think humidity and heat/cold transfer. Generally, at Apex Ideas we love the tech stuff and I look forward to talking to my fridge but in the meantime let’s not ignore the good old fashioned mechanical and thermodynamic nature of the beast.
As always if you want to know about the way we’re thinking about fridges then just get in touch.