When Spencer Trotter was 13, he sold chocolate door-to-door to help his family with the bills. It was then that he saw the need for portable refrigeration. The ice chest he carried around was bulky, always getting warm, and quickly became messy.
Years later, Trotter has developed the Anywhere Fridge, a solar-powered appliance that collapses down to briefcase-size for easy transport. It was recently on Indiegogo, where it caught a wave of interest. Hoping to raise $1,000, the campaign closed with more than $120,000. Trotter plans to start shipping in October once he’s made a few final tweaks.
In fact, the unit is more than a fridge. It has a thermostat that allows you to set the temperature anywhere between 8 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. But refrigeration is the main point. Trotter sees multiple uses, including camping, tailgating, and storing food in off-grid places. “It can be self-sustaining. It will run all day while charging an ion lithium battery [for use at night]. Then it will replenish itself the next day,” he says in an email.
The battery lasts eight hours on a full charge, and can also be recharged from a car cigarette lighter or standard outlet. There are two USB outlets. And the unit comes in two sizes: a small unit measuring 18 by 14 inches, and a larger one 25 by 19 inches.
You could imagine the Anywhere Fridge being useful for all kinds of people–not just chocolate sellers. But we’ll have to see what the final product looks like. Trotter still needs to finish it, though with $120,000-plus in the bank that should now be possible.