Samsung’s 2017 Appliance Launch

By Amy Eller with Richard Sherwin

Samsung is all about the Samsung Family Hub. Food Family and Fun in the kitchen, centering your family life on your refrigerator if you choose to do so… You can… create shopping lists, order groceries and see inside your refrigerator without opening the door… integrate family members’ schedules, share photos and send messages from your refrigerator to your family’s phones… stream your favorite music or watch your Samsung TV right on your refrigerator. You can integrate all your apps and smart after market devices right onto the fridge.

You can. But would you? Do people want to do this? According to sources at Lowes and Home Depot, two of Samsung Appliances’ largest retailers, “upscale customers are really intrigued by the sharing aspects of the new Samsung refrigerators and are awestruck by the features, but only a small amount of  consumers actually use those functions,” says an appliance manager at a Lowes store in New England. ” A Home Depot store manager worries that “there’s even more to go wrong now with all those features.”

But at the latest Samsung product preview event, here’s what Michael Wolf, organizer of the Smart Kitchen Summit, and Christian Lisa Fetterman founder of Nomiku, maker of a Wi-Fi sous vide cooking device, and Amy Bentley a professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies in the Steinhardt School at New York University think about the new multimedia kitchen.

The idea that the home kitchen is the woman’s domain and the restaurant kitchen the male domain is becoming outmoded and Samsung has teamed up with Nomiku to eradicate obstacles between you and a beautiful, delicious plate of food. They want us ‘Never to feel like a failure in the kitchen!”

AMY ELLER SAYS:

I AM NOT sure why you would want to spend so much time staring at your fridge and wonder why the camera is only in the refrigerator portion of the appliance and not the freezer or drawers. But if you like that kind of technology for approximately $2599- to $5200 the choice is between a black stainless and a stainless steel finish that is all about the present and a future where the fridge is the center of your family life. You get a 1-year warranty on the unit, 10 years on the compressor and 5 years on the sealed parts. If the screen goes down, it won’t affect your foods freshness and it can be replaced.

If it’s a refrigerator that will connect us then so be it. I think that’s a lot of responsibility for an appliance. Will the fridge get your kids to put down their phones and talk at the dinner table, to understand the impact of their words, to appreciate that someone spent time recreating Grandmas Baklava recipe? To understand that food nourishes us from the second we smell and see it before we even taste it? Does it mean mealtime is at one time and everyone at the table makes eye contact with everyone else at the table or is the table outmoded and we all now sit at a counter watching Netflix on the fridge?

Samsung repair notes: Overdue upgrade fix

While Samsung and its appliance division and its audio video and mobile products division had a terrific financial comeback quarter and its IPhone killer, the highly anticipated Galaxy 9, is due in less than two months, the company is still struggling with some of its consumer technology. Its 4K TVs have issues with HDMI cables rendering many set top box add-ons like Roku, TiVo, Kodi, Apple TV unplayable and the upgrade (via USB or Wi-Fi) has not been made available to all of its new customers yet. In addition, Samsung’s highly rated traditional (non-connected) refrigerators and high end dish washers have had more repair issues than ever before. “Insiders” at Samsung and arch rival LG blame these anomalies on federal regulations for water conservation rules, power saving and parts restrictions. However, quick glances at independent comments by 1000s of customers indicate that this downward spiral in reliability has been happening for many years now and to many appliance makers.  DFA’s opinion: Consolidation in the appliance business (many competitors share parts or manufacturing) has resulted in a cross the board unreliability in dishwashers, refrigerators, washers and dryers.

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