Yes a self-cleaning refrigerator would be a blessing
(as well as a built-in trap for those freezer mice that sneak in and eat your haggen-daas in the middle of the night).
Well, it's funny this should come up now when I'm right in the middle of reading The Fountainhead, as technology design isn't much different that archetecture. It's strictly a "give the public what it want's" propisition.
Here are my personal likes/dislikes about current refrigerators, along with what I would like to see in future models :
1. I like those ice/water dispensers in the door, mainly because I've never owned one. My wife, on the other hand, hates them, regailing me with stories of constant problems and bacterial issues.
2. I would like to have a dual thermometer built into the doors (one for the fridge and one for the freezer) to monitor temps.
3. I would like a light bulb that's actually EASY to change.
4. I would like a temperature control panel that dosen't get in the way of storage.
5. I would like a rail on the inside of the door that dosen't pop off and spill everything across the floor every time you accidently whang into it with your shin and start cussing.
6. Still on the door I would like a door actually deep enough to ACTULLY HOLD A #$%^# JAR OF PICKLES.
7. I would like adjustable or even removeable shelves in my freezer. The rack we have in our freezer dosen't move at all and won't come out.
I am not a fan of putting computers into things as I feel we are far too dependant upon them already, but there is no denying that they are, as they have been for many years, the toy of the future.
If you built a refrigerator with what essentially amounts to a PDA (with the little plastic pen thing) and an LCD screen into the door with a Wi-Fi connection you could:
A) Watch TV or a Food Network program while cooking. Add the capability to pause and rewind so one might "cook along".
B) Write out menu's or Recipe's, take phone messages, schedules and family memo's (Mom - Jane's at Soccer Practice. Needs a ride home at 3:00)
C) Store and pull up recipes.
D) Monitor Fridge/Freezer temps and have it alert you either vocally or by E-mail or Cell-Phone when there is a problem (I would reccomend a built in UPS for this in the event of a power failure)
E) By adding a Bar Code Scanner or perhaps an Inventory Chip Reader (such as they are experimenting with in grocery stores where you just push your trolly through the check stand and it rings the whole lot up at once) you can maintain a running inventory of what you have and perhaps it could create suggested shopping lists, suitible for printing on your PC.
Unfortuantnly someone has already come up with the idea of putting a video screen in the door of the fridge and a camera inside the door, so everytime you open the fridge it takes a picture of the contents so you can see what's in there without opening the door.
~ Raven ~