MasterCard Releases Its IoT App for Samsung Refrigerator

  • JJ Hornblass
  • May 18, 2016
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canstockphoto7245223The vision of a refrigerator — and internet of things — that can facilitate home shopping has been realized.

MasterCard several days ago quietly released its iOS app to support a partnership with Samsung it announced last January. The new Groceries by MasterCard app connects to Samsung’s Family Hub Refrigerator for “standing in front of the fridge” ordering through ShopRite or FreshDirect. MyWebGrocer was also said to be a shopping partner, but the online vendor does not appear to be a part of the v1.0 release. MyWebGrocer is a partner of ShopRite’s, and may power its participation in MasterCard’s venture.

Groceries by MasterCard screen322x572

Groceries by MasterCard app

Samsung’s smart, networked refrigerators cost about $6,000.

The MasterCard app is solely for the fridge. There is not even a sign-up option within the app, which was released on iTunes on April 28 and Google Play on April 27. No users have rated the app as of today.

According to MasterCard, the app allows users to order products through FreshDirect and ShopRite “grocery aisles,” tagging brands and products they like for future reference. The app includes barcode scanning functionality, as well as voice search.

When news of the app first appeared last January, MasterCard said the Groceries app would also learn a family’s habits, and make relevant recommendations — making it a “smart” fridge. But that functionality is not mentioned in the iTunes description.

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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at hornblass@gmail.com or 212-564-8972.

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