Enlarge / A sensor from one of the refrigerators in the Amazon stores. The household refrigerator would use similar technology.
According to insider sources, Amazon is working on a smart refrigerator that will keep track of the groceries you have stored and help you quickly order replacements if supplies run low. The refrigerator would use some of the same technology seen in Amazon Go stores.
The refrigerator, codenamed Project Pulse, is being built by the same team as Amazon Go, with additional support from members of the Amazon Lab126 and Amazon Fresh teams. Amazon has reportedly been working on the product for two years and has spent $ 50 million a year on development.
The appliance contains multiple cameras and uses computer vision technology to keep track of what is stored in it. The basic technology is the same as Amazon Go’s “Just Walk Out” feature, which allows customers to simply pick items off the store’s shelves and walk out the door, knowing that their Amazon accounts are appropriately charged .
In addition to keeping track of current inventory levels, the refrigerator monitors users’ purchasing habits over time to provide suggestions. Notifications can be sent to users to let them know when inventory is running low, and the refrigerator can also offer recipe suggestions with ingredients that are close to their expiration date.
When you’re ready for more food, the device makes ordering direct from Amazon Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh a breeze. And as you might expect, the team working on the product may also include Amazon Alexa support, but sources say that support isn’t their top priority.
Amazon won’t make the fridges itself. Rather, they are looking for a production partner, and Insider says that a number of meetings with high-profile equipment manufacturers have already taken place.
The refrigerator is expected to be very expensive and will primarily appeal to households with high incomes. However, Amazon expects the price to drop over time so that the product will eventually reach a wider market. However, insider sources made it clear that the project could still be canceled before the refrigerator hits the market.