Internet Bar Fridge?

To build the Internet Bar Fridge you will need:

Many have read about my project for the the design and construction of an Internet connected home office or "smart apartment". This was partly in reaction to unrealistic products and proposals from companies and research organisations.

In the last few years there have been thousands of articles about the Internet Fridge (a refrigator with a touch sensitive flat screen on the door)

LG Internet Fridge GRD-267DTU Watch TV, listen to music or surf the internet using this titanium finish, state-of-the-art fridge freezer. It's the ultimate in kitchen technology with a built-in MP3 player for downloading and playing music from the internet, e-mail and video mail using a built-in camera and microphone. It even has full internet access so you can re-stock the refrigerator on-line or check on the latest news and weather - all without leaving the kitchen. And it's great for storing food too.

From Digital Multimedia Side-By-Side Fridge Freezer with LCD Display, LG Electronics, 2002

Most reviews of Internet applciances have been uncritical, so I decided to spoof these. The result was a mock media release about the "Internet Bar Fridge" (a small office fridge with a screen on the door).

The desktop Internet fridge is a direct replacement for a 15 inch LCD screen. The screen is mounted on the front of the fridge door, which swings out of the way to access the cooling chamber behind. From the front the fridge looks no larger than an ordinary screen. The fridge has VGA connectors for video and USB for door control. The increased size and weight of the screen is said to be an advantage, making it more stable than a lightweight LCD and more difficult to steal.

The wall mounted Internet fridge can be recessed into the wall for a slimmer profile. The plasma screen is also the fridge door and is power operated by a touch control, rising out of the way. An optional 'digital barman' scanner is available to take stock of the content and reorder via the web.

On further refelction it looked as though a small fridge with a screen on the door may actually be useful. To make this easier there is an industry standard for mounting flat panel monitors:

FDMI is intended to provide industry standard mounting interfaces for Flat Displays (FDs) such as flat panel monitors, flat displays and TVs. This standard defines mounting interfaces for FDs, corresponding standards for mounting device manufacturers and cable and cable connector location guidelines.

From "VESA Flat Display Mounting Interface Standard (FDMI), Video Electronics Standards Association, Version 1, October 28, 2002

An LCD panel can be eaisly mounted to a vertical surface using a VERSA standard wall mount. Any fridge can therefore be turned into an Internet fridge, by mounting an LCD panel on the door.

Further Information

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Copyright Tom Worthington 2003