Mrs Green’s remarkable fridge invention

Filed in Blog by on February 22, 2012 8 Comments
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Eon Innovation home of the futureAs you know, I’ve got a bit of a thang about reducing food waste, which is why I’m super excited to hear about a crowdsourcing project by E.ON called: E.ON Innovation.

Based on the Channel 4 show “Home of the Future”, the aim is to find the next generation of energy products and services, not from your typical innovators and business people but from YOU! (Well if you’re living in the UK that is).

The TV show follows a Sheffield family as they have the home filled with futuristic technology and gadgets. Robot-controlled lawn mower anyone? Meanwhile you can be sitting on the sofa flexing your creative muscles and coming up with answers to their challenges. Get it right and you could be on your way to winning £10,000 of gadgets galore designed to give your house a home energy makeover. Not only that, but the best ideas will actually go into production so you could be the very next James Dyson.

See, that’s why I won’t be winning anything, he’s the only industrial designer I could think of. Mind you, the fax machine still blows me away with its technological advances and as for the phone – how DO you dial a few numbers then speak to someone on the other side of the world?

Anyway, back to the plot; there will be five challenges in all, the first one of which is based on rest and relaxation. You have to come up with the answer to this troublesome question “How could your home ‘learn’ about your energy use in order to create a more restful environment?” Got the answer? Good! Share your ideas before 9th April 2012.

Home of the future with Eon Innovation

Hmmm, well apart from 24/7 room service I’m dreaming up ideas for one of the upcoming challenges which will focus on food, yes FOOD! I’ve already talked about my oh-so-advanced idea of putting a glass door on a refrigerator so you can see what’s in there and I’ve mentioned before my dream of a fridge that has some kind of sensor in there that detects when something is going off. It could alert you to have a rummage right?

But hey, if a robotic lawnmower is on the cards, how about a fridge that knows the items that is going off then texts you to tell you what it is? Picture the scene: you’re in a boring office meeting and your phone vibrates to tell you the cauliflower is about to leave the building. Well I’m thinking you could make the excuse that your Great Aunt has been rushed to hospital and hot-foot it to the nearest shop to buy an onion, tin of chickpeas and some spices to whip yourself up a curry when you get home.

Et voilà; no food waste, no chemically laden processed dinner wrapped in non-recyclable plastic and oodles of money saved.

I’m a genius I’m telling ya.

Keep up with the riveting conversation on twitter by stalking @talkingenergy and keeping a watchful eye on the rather Russian-sounding hashtag #eoninnov.

What about you? Inspire me; tell me what energy-saving gadget you would like to create.

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (8)

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  1. nicola baird says:

    Thanks for this tip! I was talking to my uni students about how to get rid of the fridge just yesterday and they found it very hard to think of anything (they were meant to be learning how to be feature writers) other than how to find someone with a van to remove it. The idea of not having a fridge was actually alien to them – it made the session a lot of fun though. Nicola

  2. Oh! How exciting! I’m thinking…I’m thinking! Hey, whatever happened to the electric car you tried out? What did you think about it?

  3. Karin says:

    They had a fridge like that on a radio drama I heard a couple of years ago. I think it was a bit bossy but the woman who owned it was rather in love with it. I’ve forgotten the exact story. It certainly could be a useful feature, but I find the main problem is that people (including myself sometimes) don’t always eat what I thought they would eat when I bought the food.

  4. Jane says:

    Most of all I want to be able to see what is in there.

    I don’t want to have to sit or stand and type data into anything. Even a bar code reader would be too much of a bother. Can’t you imagine it just like the computer on a scifi programme. “You know the orange things with feathery leaves.” Doesn’t compute. “Well no I know I bought them in the supermarket and this lot don’t have feathery leaves etc etc.” “Computer doesn’t know” or “Computer says no”.

  5. I love your idea Mrs G!

    Only around a week ago I was thinking about a computer system so you could scan items into cupboards, and fridge, and it connects to a database of recipes so it automatically shows you what you can cook with what you have in the cupboards!! If only!! 🙂

  6. Teresa says:

    I don’t like the idea of these ‘smart’ appliances. It will make people lazy and too reliant on the machines. They also emit EMF’s and use up more electricity and the RFID’s could be used as surveillance.

  7. Antonio Pachowko says:

    I like your ideas Mrs G but they are impractical and costly you are talking about artificial Intelligence (AI) which is many years way and at the present moment it is not very good. What criteria do you base this on and how does a computer distinguish between a bad product and a product that is naturally black.

    You cannot use a window or glass door inside a fridge due to condensation. Remember inside the fridge is 5 degree C and outside will be 20 degree C will result in water outside the fridge condensing on a cold surface and you cannot see inside. Think of a humid house in winter, when there is a frost outside, you get the window really steaming up and water running down. It can’t be done.

    The best thing that can be done in the fridge is to plan its content around your meals.

  8. Mrs Green says:

    @nicola baird: I’m not sure I would want to live without a fridge, but certainly a freezer – we were without one for 6 months and I didn’t really miss it at all.

    @Jennifer Ward-Pelar: Hi Jennifer; we decided not to go through with it in the end – too much politics 😉

    @Karin: Yes I agree about not eating what you’re supposed to. I truly admire people who make and stick to a weekly menu plan.

    @Jane: 😀 yup, I think a clear door would be good; so easy…

    @Michelle Morgan @ Eco-Centricity: sounds fantastic Michelle; I’d love something like that too!

    @Teresa: Fair enough comment Teressa; I guess getting too reliant on technology is not a good thing.

    @Antonio Pachowko: To be honest, I wasn’t considering practicality or cost or basing it on any criteria at all; I was just exercising my creativity and having some fun with concepts. A girl can dream, right?!

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