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Electrolux Developing Food Management Technology Using Mobile Phones
Jul 29, 2003
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Swedish appliance maker Electrolux is currently developing an appliance that allows consumers to monitor refrigerator contents with digital images.

The Food Manager System is able to take pictures inside a refrigerator through a Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) capable device, providing mobile phone users with an instant inventory of what food they have through a digital snapshot taken of the interior. The appliance currently only exists as a concept model, but Electrolux expects it to be used commercially in the future.

According to Electrolux, its Food Manager System will allow consumers to quickly and easily access their food inventory while shopping at the supermarket or at the neighborhood butcher.

The system uses a small camera to take instant photos of the refrigerator’s interior and doesn't use the complex operations and data entries required with other fridge monitoring devices, Electrolux said. Users will be able to access and download these images by "logging-in" to their fridge through a mobile phone with a GPRS connection.

"The Food Management System concept is a key indicator that near-future technologies do not always have to be complicated," according to Claudio Cenedese, manager of Primary Electronics, Core Technologies, and Innovation at Electrolux. "Research at Electrolux into consumer needs has shown that simplicity and ease of use are key drivers when it comes to peoples’ wants and needs and we continue to take steps to ensure we meet these head-on."

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