Ubuntu Reaches Into IoT With Chillhub Smart Fridge

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Connected fridge is one of the first products to be powered by Snappy Ubuntu Core

Ubuntu has taken the wraps off the first Linux-powered connected device, the Chillhub fridge, which it hopes will kickstart its push into the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Chillhub is designed by FirstBuild.com, a division of American industrial giant General Electric, and is powered by Snappy Ubuntu Core, Ubuntu’s lightweight platform for the IoT, costing $999.

ChillHub-Top-Freezer-FirstBuild-3Chilled

The 18 foot smart fridge has two USB ports and Wi-Fi connectivity, but it the open-source software which should allow it to stand out from the competition.

This will allow users to tinker around and create their own functions, services, and alerts, say for example if a certain product runs out, or if the temperatures reaches a certain level.

These can then share these across the Linux community so others can benefit, and there’s even an iOS-compatible app for users to control their fridge directly from their smartphone.

“ChillHub is the infrastructure to be able to connect devices inside your refrigerator to be visualised on your smartphone and the internet,” says Natarajan Venkatakrishnan, director of GE FirstBuild. “FirstBuild’s approach to open innovation makes it possible for the online community to help us conceive and design products that people want, and speed them to market.”

Chillhub is being shown off at IoT World in San Francisco this week, and Canonical hopes it is the start of using Snappy as a central IoT platform.

“As visitors to IoT World will see, Snappy is an amazing platform for the new generation of cloud and device developers,” said Maarten Ectors, Canonical vice president of IoT.

“With FirstBuild we’re bringing one of the most innovative IoT projects to market, developed on Snappy Ubuntu Core. We’re excited to see what the response to Chillhub will be and are looking forward to collaborating on future projects.”

The IoT potential of Snappy was revealed at the release of the Ubuntu 15.04 Linux operating system a few weeks ago. First unveiled back in December 2014, Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu, has been talking about Snappy 14 as an optimised operating system of IoT devices. Snappy also provides a transactional model for software updating, offering the promise of easier patching and improved security for IoT devices and services.

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