News from the Future…
May 5, 2029 – Sales of broadband-connected refrigerators fell 25% in the first quarter, while purchases of standard refrigerator models increased for the first time in a decade, a new report shows.
The findings are part of a study commissioned by the Consumer Electronics Assocation. According to the report, released yesterday, Americans are eschewing the so-called “smart refrigerators” because they loathe being alerted to the low nutritional value of their food stocks.
Smart refrigerators can email or text-message you when you’re running low on milk or eggs, but they also let you know when you’re food is spoiling and when you’re stocking up on too much junk food. In a survey that CEA conducted late last year, smart-frig owners said they were tired of their ice boxes “nagging” them about their dietary habits.
CEA says many consumers are unaware that they can disconnect the nutrition-alert systems on their refrigerators. Some people also mistakingly believe that information about their eating habits will be leaked to their health insurance carriers and result in premium increases.
“Contrary to what many people believe, the modern refrigerators don’t divulge information to health insurance companies,” said CEA President Pat Westinghouse. “Rather, the appliances simply contact police if the amount of beer or wine in your frig drops precipitously within two to three hours. Police are then able to place patrols outside your home to make sure you don’t get into your car while under the influence. So these advanced refrigerators pose no threat to privacy, and actually keep our roads safer.”
The Citizens Dumb-Appliance Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based group that lobbies against the proliferation of smart devices, said that many advanced ice boxes lack adequate security to prevent hackers or insurance companies from tapping into the appliance’s hard drives.
“What’s to prevent a hacker from stealing your food history from your frig and sending it to your employer, your personal trainer, or your mother,” said Mandy Weiner, the group’s head lobbyist.