BINUS UNIVERSITY researcher, Dr Rinda Hedwig, has recently succeeded in developing an affordable smart appliance module as part of her goal of making technology accessible to the general public. The project involved designing a smart fridge which provides for more efficient ways of preserving and managing food items. The research was a collaborative effort of BINUS UNIVERSITY’s postgraduate students as well as researchers from the university’s Computer Engineering and Computer Science programmes.
Dr Hedwig’s smart module is highly cost-competitive and is derived from laser spectroscopy technology which will inform the user through specific sensors if certain food ingredients — eggs, milk, carrots, and tomatoes — are no longer available with future prototypes to include more sensors to detect a wider range of food types. Furthermore, this technology has the capacity to notify the user via text message of when to buy groceries as well as providing various recipes from ingredients available in the fridge. The smart fridge can also link to an Android phone through a mobile app and will allow the user to receive updates such as food stock in addition to downloading recipes; the module is currently in the process of obtaining a patent. As part of her long-term plans of developing a smart home, Dr Hedwig and her research team are in the process of completing other smart home appliances such as a smart food cabinet, smart bed and table, and smart drawer — the smart food cabinet will be able to connect to the smart fridge and will have built-in sensors to detect flour, sugar, cooking oil, potatoes, salt, and onions, among other food ingredients.
With current mobile devices aiding mainstream adoption of connected home technology, there is now a greater level of convenience made available for homeowners than in previous years. As such, Dr Hedwig’s research allows homeowners to manage their fridge appliances according to specific lifestyles and preferences — the module can also be customised to accommodate people who are visually impaired. Dr Hedwig’s research thus demonstrates the immense potential of Indonesia's local talents in producing affordable smart appliances from that is geared towards fulfilling the needs of the country's increasingly tech-savvy population.