» In My Fridge
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In My Fridge

credits students: fabian kreuzer markus lorenz schilling academics: prof. hans krämer prof. steffen süpple

Goal of the project is to simplify the process of food management. Our main focus was the technical and the communicative aspect.

The central technical item within the concept is the printable RFID Tag. The RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology is well known and has approved itself in the field of data acquisition. A new technique will soon allow to print these data storage units. This will on the one hand decrease the production costs and on the other hand widen the range of use.

We assume that supermarkets and stores will adopt these printable RFID Tags in order to be able to determine their stock simply and briefly. And since groceries don´t have to be scanned any more, the queue time at the checkout counter is reduced. To acquire the data from the RFID tags, the household equipment simply needs to be equipped with an RFID reader.

We adopted these thoughts into our scenario and equipped the refrigerator, the drink stock and a additional storage place with such RFID readers. Therefore we are now able to collect all kinds of information of various products. The storage place for the easily perishable goods - the refrigerator - plays a key role in the process of food management. It collects all the data and provides the information over a touch display. Besides basic information like quality, quantity, date of expire or ingredients, additional information like receipts or nutritional protocol are available due to the connection between the different storage rooms. Furthermore, the refrigerator would warn you about food allergies, if you pick something inappropriate to eat. The connection of our system with local supermarkets allows you to check their storage state, prices or lets you create a digital shopping list.
In conclusion the printable RFID technology widens the use range of RFID tags and can enrich the process of food management. The examples given above are just the tip of the iceberg. A intelligent oven for example, could receive a message from the refrigerator. The message could contain the chosen dish for supper and in this way the oven could set itself to the proper settings and help during the cooking process.

The design of the user interface in our project is quite uncommon. That´s because the user shouldn´t feel like he is using a application at any time. Essential infor-mation are displayed as soon as he takes a look at the refrigerator. Therefore he doesn´t have to interact with the system at first place. If he chooses to do so, he can intuitively use his finger. Further informations, nutritional protocols, shopping lists or cooking receipts - all can be retrieved with a single tip of his fingers.

The key design element is a dynamic list. It basically provides a quantitative overview of the groceries in your home. The list can modify itself and provide additional information like the date of expire - shown in a bar graph. Large-format views show pictures of groceries or dishes and are there to whet the appetite and to support a healthy eating. A 3D view enables the user to take a look into the refrigerator - even when the door is closed. Thus you can localize the products of your choice without opening the door. As a result, the door is closed most of the time which keeps the temperature low and saves energy. By the time the door is kept open for to long, a blue light indicates the user to close the door.

In order to proof the concept, we build a prototype which is able to display and to process a whole operation process. Thus we were able to test a part of our concept on a functional refrigerator which made it possible to detect problems within the concept and to improve it afterwards.

dl-110, Tuesday, Oct 4th 2011 Digg | Tweet | Delicious 4 comments  
zepi 04/10/2011 - 22:12

good job!
it makes me want it more than the new iphone 4S! ;)

tonfilm 05/10/2011 - 00:02

very nice, i would buy it.. but people like me need a recipe suggestion with the stuff which should to be eaten soon ;)

dl-110 05/10/2011 - 09:44

@zepi: :D if that is not the biggest compliment i don´t know what it is... thx

@tonfilm: then you definitely need one ;) because our concept has a food suggestion based on all the food in your home.

mediadog 24/10/2011 - 15:38

Love it, particularly your thinking about the UI. To me the ultimate goal is the "invisible interface". I would love to play with this! Now if I can just convince the wife it's OK to glue a display to our fridge...

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