According to sources quoted by Insider, Amazon is working on a smart refrigerator that will keep track of the food you store and help you quickly order replacements when supplies are low. The refrigerator would use the same technology as in Amazon Go stores.
The refrigerator, codenamed Project Pulse, is being built by the same team as Amazon Go, with additional help from members of the Amazon Lab126 and Amazon Fresh teams. Amazon has reportedly spent two years working on the product, spending $50 million a year developing it.
The device will contain multiple cameras and use computer vision technology to monitor what is stored in it. The basic technology is the same as in Amazon Go’s “Just Walk Out” feature, which allows customers to easily pick items off physical store shelves and walk out the door, confident that their Amazon accounts are being charged correctly.
In addition to tracking current stock, the refrigerator will track users’ buying behavior over time to make suggestions. Notifications can be sent to users to let them know when supplies are low, and the refrigerator can also offer recipe suggestions that use ingredients that are running low.
When you’re ready for more food, the device makes ordering directly from Amazon-owned Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh a breeze. And as you’d expect, the team working on the product may include Amazon Alexa support, but sources say support isn’t the top priority.
Amazon will not manufacture the refrigerators itself. Rather, it is looking for a manufacturing partner, and Insider says some meetings with leading device manufacturers have already taken place.
The refrigerator is expected to become very expensive and will initially target high-income households. However, Amazon expects the price to drop over time, eventually allowing the product to reach a larger market. That said, Insider sources clarified that the project could still be canceled before the refrigerator hits the market.