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Panasonic unveils a moving fridge and a wash-and-fold machine

The fridge comes when called, and the laundry will fold clothes for you

A small, glossy white box with a notch near the bottom and three sensors.
The Movable Fridge comes when called—bearing food!
Panasonic

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic revealed a whole slew of new smart products for the home at the Internationale Funkausstellung fair in Berlin (IFA) earlier this week, including an “autonomous” fridge, a sake cooler, and an “intelligent” laundry system.

Presented under the category “Better Living Tomorrow,” these products are meant to represent a “lifestyle enriched with Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and robotics technologies,” according to a press release.

By using Internet of Things technologies, Panasonic hopes to make daily life more convenient by connecting appliances within the house as well as with the outside world. Below, a brief look at a couple of standout products.

Movable Fridge

The Movable Fridge is just that: It moves. (Perhaps its name is a play on Earnest Hemingway’s memoir A Moveable Feast?) Shaped like a hard-edged cube, the mini-refrigerator has a pearly, acrylic-like finish with a notch near its base. It’s voice- and space-responsive, so it comes when called—bearing food!—and avoids bumping into things along the way.

Sake Cooler

It’s a cooler for sake--shaped like a thicker wine cooler—except it’s connected to a database that will scan the label on the bottle and display information about it on a screen, even recommending food pairings to go with the sake. Necessary? Probably not.

Sustainable Maintainer

This is the name for the afore-mentioned intelligent laundry system that not only washes and dries your clothes, it also folds them. The in-wall unit takes an individual piece of clothing then analyzes the material and washing method (with help from the manufacturer), and how dirty it is, then applies the appropriate method of laundering and drying to it. At the end of the cycle, robotic arms fold it then place it in an embedded drawer. Think of it as a personal dry cleaning service.