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Want to catch the food thief in your flat? New fridge freezer will take video and post it to YouTube

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We’ve all been there – popping to the fridge for a snack and a cup of tea, only to discover that our shelf is empty and our milk has mysteriously vanished.

Following research that has shown that food theft is the number one annoyance in university houses, online electrical retailer ao.com is launching a refrigerator that allows flatmates to keep their own food away from prying hands.

The Grocery Guardian GGL1RP4L00F, which comes with hi-tech Food Mate™ technology, is set to make squabbles over milk and the posting of passive aggressive sticky notes a thing of the past.

With one in five shared households arguing at least twice a week about stolen food out of a shared fridge, the Grocery Guardian keeps a close eye on belongings, ensuring the food owner is the only one who gets to take a bite.

And how does it do that? By connecting to YouTube to expose the culprit. Gulp...

The shelves within the fridge freezer are covered in sectioned pressure pads that accurately measure the weight of the food on top of them. Using the front display/barcode scanner, users can log in their personal Food Mate™ account with the fingerprint recognition system and as they unpack the groceries, they can be scanned and assigned area of the fridge.

In fact, the appliance only opens up when an account is logged in, and if any food is removed whilst another person is rooting around, things can get very interesting (or passive aggressive, however you see it.)

When the system is triggered, a siren sounds - accompanied by a top-mounted red beacon. Cameras fixed to the inner top shelf, inner door and outer door record the incident from open to close, and instantly email videos (in compressed .avi format) to the victim of the kitchen crime, taken from all three angles.

Future Food Mate™ software updates will include customised alarm messages ("STOP! Drop the chocolate bar. You have thirty seconds to comply!"), smartphone synchronised out-of-home monitoring and the function to automatically upload videos of food nabbers to the Food Mate™ YouTube channel, naming and shaming food thieves on a whole new level.

Yossi Erdman, Head of Brand at ao.com, comments:  “It’s taken us a good year to perfect the Grocery Guardian and after much collaboration and consultation with our 1million fans on Facebook, we’re proud to be the first to market with this incredible invention.

“In creating the appliance we wanted to make it both practical and stylish, as well as ensure that we created a product that had the potential to lead the connected home market across the rental sector.

“We really do believe that the design has the ability to revolutionise the university halls, private student and house sharing market and by producing an initial run of 30,000 units, we have been able to ensure that each Grocery Guardian costs no more than £349.”

The Grocery Guardian is available exclusively from ao.com from April 1st and retails at £349.  For more information visit the website.

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