Non-human social networks – Mulley on about fridges again

No I am not a secret shill for PowerCity or Harvey Norman’s.

I previously wrote about defrosting fridges and about how being a fan of objects would connect people together. Knowing someone through their fridge is how I put it. But that was about human social networking. Will my fridge be on a social network too, connecting with other like-minded fridges exchanging recipes? I think yes.

Prepped for CyberSalon Visitors
Photo owned by cogdogblog (cc)

The idea of a social object is to create something that will make humans more sociable and get them to connect with each other. Need it just be for humans though? Could we not make these objects take on some human characteristics allowing them to communicate with each other too and have personalities in a way? In the near future our fridges will either have barcode scanners built in or rfid readers when all barcodes are replaced by RFIDs. The fridge will know what it contains and would have a good guess as to what food types you like and what recipes you might use. In turn just like LastFM matches people with the same musical tastes, FridgeBook might just link fridges together and have them exchange recipes which will pop up on the front of the fridge. In addition the fridges will also share bargain hunting tips with each other. It’s better not to have the fridge stuff on your Facebook anyway as the fridge has a different personality to you since it’s used by a few people, unless you live alone. And cry yourself to sleep at night over it…

Then let’s not forget VRM – Vendor Relationship Management, where retailers will come to you or your fridge and offer what you normally buy each week but at a cheaper price. With all the fridges talking to each other they can also root out the scam artists and messers and low-quality food retailers so you get the best quality for the best price.

Of course for that we’d need some kind of “social layer” built into the communications stack of all these tech devices. Imagine sharing templates via a toaster network? Someone designs a nice toasting template for their toaster and they share it with a toaster network? All these social networks that we have are people based and they are hardly embedded but the BBC Olinda radio might change that and we might see more white goods with a social networking chip or firmware. That’s when the real fun happens.

5 Responses to “Non-human social networks – Mulley on about fridges again”

  1. Grandad says:

    If it’s any help, my fridge saw your fridge being defrosted. She wanted to be defrosted too.

    She thinks your fridge is cool! 😉

  2. Darragh says:

    That’s not n ice Grandad, not nice at all.

    Damien, interesting post. Do we really want that to happen though? When it’s all being done for us, what’e left for us to do?

  3. Damien says:

    Lol @Darragh

    Gives us more time to think about things.

    @Grandad I hope they don’t get it on, there’d be ice cubes everywhere

  4. Anthony McG says:

    My fridge is on lockdown. No social interactions for him. Will the standard status message be “just chillin” though?

  5. Helen Brown says:

    Oh, I’m loving this idea – not least the prospect of fridges superpoking each other.

    It would be really ace if the barcode/RFID data contained use-by dates and could share it with opted-in neighbours.

    Rather than throw out excess food, you could donate/sell it to (or swap with) someone local who needs it.