A couple of days ago, we learned that LG has developed a refrigerator that runs full Windows 10 on a translucent 29-inch screen. Now, it appears that Microsoft wants to expand this technology even further and is collaborating with Liebherr household appliances to develop the next generation of smart refrigerators.
Microsoft states that the Liebherr appliance will allow users to intelligently manage their food inventory and also aid in planning shopping. Grocery items stored in the fridge will be monitored using internal cameras and object recognition technology. More items can be added to shopping lists and can be accessed on the go using a dedicated app on Android, iOS and Windows devices. The company states that:
Microsoft is providing computer vision capability as part of this collaboration. As a leading innovator of deep learning algorithms for image processing, illustrated by our winning entries in the 2015 ImageNet object detection challenge, Microsoft’s deep learning technology is now the cornerstone of a wide variety of products, including the Microsoft Cognitive Services Computer Vision API which can – among other things – annotate new images with a wide variety of generic category labels and object tags. The underlying state-of-the-art deep learning algorithms themselves are also available within Microsoft’s open source Computational Network Toolkit (CNTK) and can be used to build custom models for new use cases.
Microsoft states that it has already built a new image processing system to detect specific food items using the deep learning algorithms contained in CNTK.
With that being said, the company has stated that the project is still in early stages and the current system is a prototype. However, Microsoft says that the deep learning technology it is using is extremely powerful already and is rapidly evolving. In collaboration with Liebherr, the company plans to "turn the newest generation of refrigerators into smart appliances that don’t just cool your food but interactively help you with your food management."