Do you ever scroll through the queue of movies Netflix recommends for you and think, “this computer algorithm doesn’t know me at all?” Well maybe your fridge will know you better than your streaming movie service. At a hackathon last month put on by GE, four engineers developed Chilflix—a refrigerator magnet designed to make movie recommendations based on your snacking behavior. It’s part of the rapidly growing development of smart kitchen appliances that can do everything from automatically ordering coffee beans to planning an entire menu for you. But to the best of our knowledge, Chilflix is the first time dinner and a movie have been combined like this.
The technology is still in its infancy. Right now it uses a light sensor to determine if you are rummaging through the fridge for something to eat and then, based on the time of day, makes a movie recommendation—think, stoner comedies for those eating midnight snacks. The magnet then takes the recommendation and displays it on the magnet’s LED screen.
The time of day you are eating is a broad brush with which to make movie recommendations, but camera technology that can identify food already exists. So it’s not inconceivable that your refrigerator could soon spot the pastrami in your fridge and tell you to cue up When Harry Met Sally on your Netflix. Until then you’ll just have to endlessly scroll through “the newly added” section like you always do.