Nobody knows how the kitchens of our future will be like, but Panasonic’s vision includes a mobile refrigerator that responds to voice commands. The company was showing off a concept for such a device that, if we’re fortunate, might make it to our homes in the next few decades.
Ideally, the Movable Fridge is little more than a coolbox glued on top of a robot vacuum cleaner with a voice interface. With its built in LIDAR and depth sensor, the device would — theoretically — scan your home and be able to navigate around on its own. The idea, according to the company, is that the unit would always listen out for your command, such as “Fridge, come here.” Then, it would emerge from its hole in your kitchen wall and scoot over to you without bumping into your household pets.
Panasonic intends this to be used by the elderly and those with mobility problems, saving them from unnecessary trips to the kitchen. The company is also considering adding a warming plate to the top, to move warm meals from room to room.
Of course, we can also imagine this finding loads of fans with the sort of people who presently have a beer fridge cluttering up their TV room. Imagine the bragging rights when you’re asked for some cold ones, and they make their own way from the kitchen.