Smart fridges have been the subject of ridicule by those who see no reason to equip kitchen appliances with the ability to send tweets or snap photos. Earlier this year, Whirlpool told us flat out that it doesn’t make any sense. But there may be one use of this technology that even the most cynical Joe could appreciate: catching perps.
In Pennsylvania last week, a grown man called the police on his fellow coworkers because they stole his strawberry Jell-O snack from the office fridge. According to Gothamist, the adult, male victim, a 39-year-old employee of the Wakefern Food Corporation in Beinigsville, Pennsylvania, filed the report with the Upper Macungie Township Police Department just before lunch on October 10. And yes, you read that correctly: he works for a supermarket company.
"The employee continued that this was not the first time his food had been stolen from the refrigerator," the report reads. "This incident remains under investigation."
Anyone who’s ever shared a refrigerator—be it at home or work—can relate to this frustrating situation. While most full-grown adults probably know better than to call the authorities to investigate such trivial matters, it highlights one of the most overlooked benefits of smart fridge technology: fridge cameras.
At IFA last month, we had the opportunity to check out Siemens’ fridge with a built-in camera. It’s intended to remotely notify owners of the contents of their fridge via mobile app, but because it snaps a new picture every time the door is opened and then sends it to the owner’s phone, we imagine it’d be the perfect trap for catching lunch thieves. No need to drain your local PD’s resources.
Check out our hands-on review of the Siemens Camera-in-Fridge Refrigerator here.