Whirlpool Reveals Smart French Door Refrigerator
Completely and intuitively re-imagined on the inside, the pantry-inspired layout in the Whirlpool Smart French Door Refrigerator is designed to use space more efficiently with a unique shelving system for families to fit and find all their edible favorites, making it the easiest refrigerator to organize.
With pantry shelves that store 30 percent more, the refrigerator won top honors with two 2016 CES Innovation Awards in the Smart Home and Home Appliances categories.
"The market has traditionally provided stagnant, similarly spaced interiors, and has not been responding with new designs that account for which items people reach for most often," said Shannon Blakely, brand manager, Whirlpool brand. "Based on global food trends and family observations about how they store food, a team of Whirlpool consumer researchers, designers and product engineers helped design an interior space that moves the least-used, small items out of the way to create easier access to larger items, improves visibility of all items and reduces the need for re-shuffling."
A Radically New Interior Configuration
Whirlpool designers considered everything from the grocery store produce aisle to the modern kitchen pantry in developing this refrigerator that does more than keep food cold.
"Based on global food trends and family observations about how they store food, a team of Whirlpool consumer researchers, designers and product engineers helped design an interior space that moves the least-used, small items out of the way to create easier access to larger items, improves visibility of all items and reduces the need for re-shuffling."
Every section, every shelf, every bin in the French Door Refrigerator was re-designed to deliver smart organization with greater access and better visibility to change the way families think about storing food. Key innovations include:
- Infinity slide shelves line the perimeter of the fridge, so families can move small items to the edges and make room for big, high-use items front and center. The shelves are precisely spaced apart based on common sizes of food packaging so that yogurts, spaghetti jars, 12-pack soda boxes and egg cartons fit perfectly. And, they glide just as far as needed to accommodate taller items like corked wine bottles and pitchers.
- Industry-first "flippers" allow families to adjust the shelves up or down without having to clear the shelves completely.
- With an understanding of what families buy most, the PerfectPlaces system has just the right spot reserved for every item, so the refrigerator and freezer spaces no longer become a dumping ground with overflowing bins.
- Gallon door bins give families the most gallon door bin storage in the industry.
- From chocolate to cheese to kid's snacks, a small items bin and treasure bin help keep the little items in clear sight.
- Asymmetrical crispers are designed with dividers to display fresh produce like bell peppers up front, and store bags of apples in the back. The biggest crispers in the market were thoughtfully designed to hold common foods and packaging like unwieldy long and wide celery stalks and large plastic lettuce containers.
- A full-width "platter pocket" shelf, which slides out entirely to get to favorite foods easier. It's spaced from the other shelves at a height specifically for wide, flat items so families have a special spot for brownie pans, lasagna dishes and pizza boxes.
- Bright LED undershelf lights in the EasyView system boast 40 percent more brightness under the shelf to help illuminate even those far-back corners where half-filled condiment jars have been known to hide for years.
- The StoreRight system's dual cooling allows for fresh and frozen foods to be maintained at the perfect temperatures using sensor technology. Dual cooling also measures humidity levels and adjusts the temperature automatically, without the need to manually adjust.
- Always be ready for unexpected guests with the ReadySet system with dual icemakers that make more than twice the ice.
Smart Home Technology
The Smart French Door Refrigerator also helps make care more intuitive, with home automation features that offer families peace of mind.
"Whirlpool brand designs products with innovations that fulfill a human need and deliver a real purpose to our consumer, all inspired by the way families care for each other," said Ben Artis, senior manager for connectivity strategy, Whirlpool Corporation. "That is no different from how we approach smart technology. A smart home should work in concert with what families are already doing and adapt to those human behaviors – that's why we designed this new smart refrigerator to include special modes like automatically making more ice for a large dinner party."
The following features help cater to distinct needs:
- Uses smart notifications to alert families of a power or WiFi outage, and even reminds them to change the air and water filters.
- Showcases customized settings, including Party Mode. By activating Party Mode in the Whirlpool mobile app, the refrigerator automatically makes ice faster, so hosts have a full bin faster, and also lowers temperatures inside, anticipating loss of coolness when the fridge doors open and close more often as families entertain at home.
- Consumers who are signed up for Nest Rush Hour Rewards can delay the defrost cycle to off-peak times through the Whirlpool mobile app.
- Features advanced customer care. Through the Whirlpool mobile app, the refrigerator displays fault codes and schedules service appointments. The app even allows customers to check on the status of a request and easily call to speak to an actual customer care representative live – the brand's Care Agent promise.
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