A new kind of fridge, capable of keeping you alive in the event of an emergency, could soon hit the shelves.
A company called Whirr has developed a device that could keep your food and water cold for a period of up to six hours.
The idea is to use an infrared camera mounted on a surface to detect a change in temperature, the company said.
Whirr claims it could be deployed as early as 2020, though the company has yet to announce a specific release date.
Whirrs prototype fridge is made of a specially designed aluminium foil, which can withstand temperatures of up the body, the firm said.
This has been developed with the help of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering, in conjunction with the University’s College of Engineering.
The system uses a thermal sensor to monitor the temperature and humidity of the area around the fridge, while the other parts of the fridge are connected to a computer.
Whirls sensors can also be configured to provide a visual warning to the user if they begin to feel uncomfortable or unwell.
The system has been tested on two different refrigerators and has proved to work at temperatures up to 20 degrees Celsius, the fridge’s maker, Whirls, said in a statement.
“The system works by monitoring the temperature of the refrigeration and automatically shutting off if the temperature reaches that value,” it said.
“In addition, the sensors detect a specific temperature and can be set to automatically shut off the fridge in the presence of the wearer.”
The company said the device was also able to detect if the fridge was in a low temperature state and shut it down if it was in an extremely low temperature, or even if it had been on for too long.
One of the most important aspects of the system is the fact that it can be activated from a smartphone, with Whirrs users able to control it remotely.
The fridge could potentially be used to save lives, particularly in a disaster situation, the inventor said.
“It’s a simple and effective way to keep your fridge warm when you need it, and it’s also a great way to prevent people from freezing to death in a hot environment,” he said.
The Whirring system is currently being tested in a lab with the company’s founder, Daniel Johnson, but the company is currently working on further developments and testing, with plans to roll it out to all homes by 2021.