Smart Fridge System
Corporate Partner :
Design Team :
NKC / Kaimen
Swinburne University of Technology
Prarthan Baxi, Ricard Costa, Sanika Dandeka
Kyoto Institute of Technology
Matthew Wohlabaugh, Narumi Ono,
Reo Yasue, Takumi Kaiya
Unlike at home, hotel refrigerators are constantly on even if the room is not being occupied for the night. For high-occupancy hotels this is not a problem. However, for low-occupancy hotels or during the off-peak season, unused refrigerators can be both a cost burden for the hotel and an environmental problem for society.
Some hotels do unplug the refrigerator when it is not being used, but making sure that it is turned on before the customer arrives can be a tedious task. If the hotel forgets to turn on the refrigerator, the negative customer experience could sure lead to negative reviews online.
Identifying this challenge, students from the Kyoto Institute of Technology and Swinburne University of Technology developed a smart refrigerator system called Frio for hotels using NKC/Kaimen's micro-cooling technology. With Frio, hotels can connect the the data from their property management system so refrigerators can be turned on and off according to the reservation. Refrigerators can be set to turn on several hours before the expected arrival time of the guests so that when they arrive, the refrigerator will be cold and ready. Hotels can also monitor the energy usage of each refrigerator to identify any issues with the components.
Utilizing NKC/Kaimen's micro-compressor technology, the team was able to make the refrigerator 100mm narrower than the existing solutions, making the space restricted Japanese hotel rooms feel larger. Further more, taking advantage of the connectivity, guests can order drinks and snacks (or replacement for the mini-bar) straight from the refrigerator, giving the hotel a new revenue stream.
Frio is not only user-friendly, but it is also hotel-friendly, and environment-friendly.