new products

Talking 'Star Wars' fridge droid

By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

The R2-D2 fridge droid is the newest addition to online retailer Hamee’s catalogue of novelty goods. Once you open the door though, he’ll move, light up, and talk.

Well, while there’s no denying it makes sounds, we’re not sure those noises technically qualify as “talking.” Still, your ears will instantly tell you who’s waiting inside the fridge as surely as if he announced “It’s me, R2-D2!”

As product manager Atsushi Yamashita says in the video below, life can be lonely for singles who live by themselves. “I wanted to make something that says ‘Welcome home!’” he explains. “Something that makes it feel like you’ve got a family member living with you.”

Visually, this is an impressively faithful recreation of the "Star Wars" robot, featuring an intricate layout of bumps, ridges, and markings.

But what sets the 4,320-yen “talking fridge gadget” (which can be ordered here) apart from an ordinary figurine is the way it reacts to light when you open the door of your refrigerator. The unit comes loaded with 15 different audio clips ranging from “Greeting” to “Message for Obi-Wan” and “Argument with C-3PO.” The samples are taken directly from the "Star Wars" films, which seems to be what the promotional video is getting at when it touts the product’s “real sound.”

You can also make the robot “talk” by pressing the action button on the top of its head. However, R2 isn’t just here for friendly companionship (and possibly to munch on your leftovers). He’s also got a secondary role of reminding you not to waste electricity. Leave the refrigerator door open too long, and he’ll produce an angry squeal on par with the one he lets out when being peppered with enemy fighter fire.

The compact unit is powered by a pair of AAA batteries, which Hamee claims will keep the droid going strong for roughly three months.

As any "Star Wars" fan knows, despite his cute, unassuming appearance, R2-D2 is constantly surprising those around him with his hidden abilities. Hamee’s fridge bot is no exception, as Yamashita says that locked away somewhere in its programming is a “secret voice.” He doesn’t provide any clues as to what exactly it is, though.

Sources: IT Media, Hamee

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- “Beer Hour” Portable Server Enjoys Heady Success -- Sharp’s new Japanese-inspired refrigerator is very cool (no pun intended) -- Wanted! Good smartphones for cute dogs to sit on

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Kind of cool. I have a similar gadget from here in Japan that speaks when you open the door or complains why you haven't closed the door if you keep it open for a few seconds. Kind of annoying so I turned it off.

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Now, if they could have designed it to be powered by the moving cold air or motor vibration, THEN they would have had something. Otherwise, at 43 USD, it better come with a lifetime supply of batteries! ;)

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