There was a time when appliances in our homes would just quietly get on with their allotted tasks, but smart tech is changing that. We're now having conversations with speakers, waking up to alarm clocks that double as personal assistants and controlling white goods with an app. Panasonic is at IFA in Berlin this week showing off a potential new addition to the smart home, a fridge that wanders over to the dinner table or sofa on command to deliver chilled nibbles or drinks precisely when they're needed.
The Movable Fridge concept is a bit of a smart tech mashup. It responds to voice commands like Alexa or Cortana, and makes use of sensors to gauge its surroundings and map the room, likely using similar smarts to those found in robot vacuum cleaners. It's able to judge where it is in a room and avoid any obstacles on its way to the person who has called it from its cubby hole.
And, also like a robot vac, the whole unit looks like it's battery-powered and doubtless recharges when it returns to its docking station under the kitchen counter.
Panasonic has revealed almost nothing about the concept, but like other smart home ideas shown at trade shows, the company will be using IFA to gauge public and press interest. The video below shows the Movable Fridge concept in action, together with a smart sake cooler, at Panasonic's booth in Berlin.