1 October 2007

Espresso Fridge

Like every other Monday morning, I catch up with the essential blogs (e.g. those listed on the right side of this screen). I was captivated by this Espresso Fridge I saw in Engadget. Beautifully made by Whirlpool, this fridge incorporates a fully automated espresso coffee machine.

Does this device fall under the conceptual umbrella of the replacement template I referred to in a previous post? In the replacement template, something has to be excluded and its function be replaced by other elements in the environment or the product. What has been excluded from this fridge in particular? Some freezer space?

Further, is there any intrinsic advantage at all in this device? In other words, do you prefer the Espresso Fridge to a similar quality fridge plus a separate espresso machine. This product is merely a well-designed bundled offer: some customers prefer the integrated device, some prefer the two separate devices. Isn't this the same situation as (mobile phones + media players)?. Seemingly, space-saving is the most clear benefit from this product. Engadget mention point towards the potential convenience of this combined product.

"No longer will you flutter between fridge and coffee machine like a caffeine-addicted idiot; instead, your milk, creamers, and sweeteners are just inches away from a freshly-brewed cup"

And yes, it does look sleek.

One thing that is not clear neither in the Engadget blog post nor in original post in The Appliancist (a fine blog!) whether the milk can be kept refrigerated and ready to be dispensed through the frothing nozzle. That would be an extra benefit hard to replicate with two separate devices. We'll have to wait till January 2008.