CES 2008: Whirlpool shows off whizzy new fridge technology

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whirlpool-centralpark.JPGInternet fridges, they’re THE FUTURE! Maybe. Or not. However cynical you are about connected kitchens, you can’t deny that Whirlpool is putting a lot of effort into the idea, with its centralpark technology. It’s basically about attaching gadgets to your fridge door, with a series of new ones announced here at CES.

Such as? Well, the Clio Vu web tablet for starters. It’s designed to replace sticky notes, notepads, calendars and shopping lists in one sleek device on your fridge door. It’s got Wi-Fi, and can be removed from its dock and carried around – in and out of the house.

In other words, you can take it shopping with you, to consult that list. You can also watch films and look up recipes on it when docked (good if you need to look up a recipe because you were so distracted by watching a film that you burnt your dinner).

Also new is the Quartet Qnote Message Center, which lets you “share and communicate important messages from the kitchen”. I think this means swearing at housemates for nibbling your cheese. It’s a touchscreen writing pad thingy, with customisable layouts to handle whatever your family’s habits are. It also includes a digital clock, and a sliding drawer to keep documents in.

Meanwhile, the Brandmotion iPod Speaker System is, yes, an iPod dock for yoru fridge, complete with dual stereo speakers. It’ll hold any size iPod, and has been designed to be rugged enough not to fall to pieces after you open the fridge door a few thousand times. Cool.

These are all prototypes, so there aren’t any release dates. However, in the US, the base centralpark fridge costs $1,999.

Whirlpool centralpark website

CES 2008 Special
Read all our coverage from the show in our CES 2008 category.

Stuart Dredge