When smartphones first appeared over a decade ago, they introduced an age in which “smart” isn’t just an adjective describing intelligence but also a prefix letting us know that any mundane object, like a lightbulb, for instance, can do more. Usually that “more” is about features and control — you might be able to dim that light bulb from your phone — as is the case with the LiONCooler, a new portable and freezer that’s currently funding on Kickstarter.
Where “smart” usually refers to some element of Internet or Bluetooth capabilities, LiONCooler’s intellect comes from its ability to regulate internal temperature via an app — and to charge other devices via USB. But what’s more clever about the wheel-equipped ice chest is that it doesn’t use ice at all, which saves space and stops dry goods from getting soggy once melting starts.
The LiON cooler charges up via the outlets in your house, the DC ports in your car or via solar panel in as little as four hours and can maintain a low temperature — it can chill to -4 degrees Fahrenheit — for up to ten hours. It’s available in 32-, 42- and 52-quart volumes and starts at $539.
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