A cooler prototype named the "Coolest" promises to revolutionize a product that has changed little over the last 50 years, and the idea is so hot it's already raised more than $2,275,000 on crowd-funding site Kickstarter.com
Ryan Grepper of Portland, Oregon — who describes himself as "a passionate supporter of the DIY revolution" — offers up nearly a dozen features that make his $185 cooler the ultimate portable party for any outdoor occasion.
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Chief among them is a built-in blender, which runs off an on-board, 18-volt battery that also powers the cooler's built-in Bluetooth speaker, interior LED lights for nighttime, and USB ports that can recharge your phone. Grepper estimates that the battery will be able to make six gallons of drinks.
Geek.com highlighted the Kickstarter campaign on Thursday, saying the Coolest cooler
makes the standard cooler look "embarrassingly outdated," and praising the elegant integration of all the features.
In addition to the electronics, Coolest sports a number of low-tech innovations that seem head-slappingly obvious upon viewing.
The cooler's wheels are twice as wide as a normal cooler, making them better on beach sand, and the cooler also has a telescoping handle like those seen on modern luggage. The handle also has an elastic band that can tie down a load of folding chairs, umbrellas, or whatever else you may be hauling around.
The interior has a removable divider to separate clean ice from the drinks, and in addition to acting as a table top once opened, one side of the bisected lid holds plates and a knife. Like most rolling coolers, there's also a drain, of course, and a bottle opener to boot.
After passing the $1 million pledge mark, Grepper announced Thursday that he is looking into offering multiple colors of the Coolest, "bigger, badder wheels," and maybe even a solar charger.
The Cooler is expected to be manufactured late this year or early next, and should ship by February.
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