Beyond the “Evernote Fridge”

Beyond the "Evernote Fridge"

Posted by Rafe Needleman on 23 Jan 2013

Posted by Rafe Needleman on 23 Jan 2013

Samsung created a version of Evernote to embed in a prototype refrigerator. Credit: Troy Malone/Evernote.

Soon, you may be able to buy a refrigerator with Evernote built into it. Really. At CES, Samsung showed off a prototype version of its T9000 fridge, which included an embedded touchscreen computer running a custom version of Evernote.

Reactions to the T9000 ran strong. Some people thought it was a good idea and got the benefit. Others saw it as ridiculous excess. After all, if you can afford the high-end T9000, chances are you’ll have a nice smartphone in your pocket when you’re standing in front of it in your kitchen. But the product struck a nerve.

As unusual as a fridge/Evernote mashup may appear today, the idea of having access to your notebooks no matter where you are, or on whatever device is most convenient for you at the moment, is the essence of Evernote. If you want to take a note while working at your desk, use your computer. If you’re at dinner and want to remember a bottle of wine, use your smartphone. In bed reading your Web Clips? Tablet. Jotting down ideas for an art project? A Moleskine notebook (preferably the Evernote Smart Notebook).

The T9000 also displays Twitter and AP News feeds. On the fridge front, its lower-right compartment can be configured to either refrigerate or freeze.  Credit: Troy Malone/Evernote.

The T9000 also displays Twitter and AP News feeds. On the fridge front, its lower-right compartment can be configured to either refrigerate or freeze. Credit: Troy Malone/Evernote.

And if you see that you’re out of eggs, why not put a reminder into the Evernote screen sitting on the door you’re holding open? Or, if you’re following a recipe you’ve saved in Evernote, wouldn’t it be nice to see it on a screen that’s designed to survive in the kitchen, instead of using a tablet while trying to keep your ingredients off of it?

We believe that many types of devices can be made more useful when given access to relevant personal data and memories. Information is contextual. Beyond that, the refrigerator is a special device. It’s a source of nourishment and a hub for memories (at least on refrigerators with traditional, magnetic fronts). It’s emotional. Combine the fridge-as-hearth concept with the deeply personal nature of Evernote, and you can see where the strong reactions to the T9000 come from.

We are moving to a world where our devices are augmented by data and connections. An Evernote fridge is one example, but there are others: The Nest connected thermostat, the Pebble watch that displays your email, the car that knows where home is.

Data makes physical products personal. Evernote is a place to store personal data, so we fully expect that there will be more physical products that reflect their owner’s personality or memories by attaching them to their Evernote accounts.

We won’t build all of them. In fact, Evernote didn’t build the software in the Evernote fridge. The Samsung T9000’s Evernote client was created by Samsung itself. We think that’s great, and we encourage any developer or manufacturer to take a swing at an app like this by using the Evernote platform.

Samsung execs knew the prototype T9000 built for CES  would get buzz, but even they were surprised by the reactions. Expect more surprises like this as smart fridges — and more Evernote-enabled products — start to enter the market.

See also: Engadget’s T9000 hands-on photos.

Rafe Needleman is Evernote’s Platform Advocate, and author of Evernote’s Opportunity Notes blog about startups.


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9 Comments RSS

  • Mike Caskey

    Cool stuff. Very useful. Aesthetically I would prefer a screen that blended into the front of the fridge.

  • Jay Castro


  • Denis Charron

    What a fine thing. I also think that the contextual presentation of data will become even more important. Standing in front of the fridge one should be able to easily create a new shopping list with known common items. The fridge then syncs that to your phone which guides us through the aisles of the supermarket

    • Rafe Needleman


  • Anoop


  • Mark Bentley

    there have certainly been times when I’ve had my tablet sat on the kitchen counter, fearing for its continued (water/egg/whatever-free) existence whilst checking a recipe 🙂 an integrated solution that can stand grubby fingers and be wiped clean would for sure be interesting…

  • Brian Tobin

    Very true about the “devices are augmented with more data and connections.” The Smart Home is just getting started with this fridge. Imagine the day when hitting the “off” button on your alarm triggers the coffee maker. When I pick up my cup of coffee, it reminds me that I have ribs in the fridge for dinner that night and shows me a few recommended recipes, then tells me when it should preheat my oven.

  • Tsuda Shoken

    I think more customized is needed to use easily but Samsung’s strong will is great that their business is not catch-up type anymore. They are the front runner except mobile devices.

  • frost-frigobar

    Smart fridge is the new concept. now days hackers uses smart fridge for cyber attack. big brand may be take action on security of customers.

    Thanks and Regards,
    frost-frigobar(dot)com Italy