Seven months ago at E3, I sat down with EA Sports' boss, Andrew Wilson, for an annual chat that always features a lot of big-picture spitballing because of where and when it takes place. I forget what question brought this up, but I'm now looking at my notebook from that day and I see the words "Internet-enabled fridge" written and underlined twice.
Revisiting the voice transcript, Wilson was making a point about the number of platforms for which EA Sports is building games. "Two to three years from now," he said, "we might be building for 30 platforms, or your Internet-enabled fridge."
(To be fair, he added, "or a hologram that comes up through your living room floor.")
Why wait three years? Andrew Wilson's Internet-enabled fridge has arrived today. This exact device was shown off this week at Consumer Electronics Show, and it sounds absolutely ridiculous. Frankly, it is ridiculous, as many things ahead of their time seem. Samsung's Android-based T9000 (yes, that's really its model name) features the same kind of screen and functionality that the futurist Wilson himself described to me—and to others, including ESPN—back in Los Angeles.
"When you're standing in your kitchen, are you going to play 11-on-11 soccer on your fridge? No," he offered. "But if an option for FIFA Ultimate Team popped up there while you're grabbing the milk, you could press accept."
I have "*laugh" marked in my notes here.
Well, we can stop laughing. And EA Sports can start developing.