A team of BYU students have set out to change the way we live. $138 billion worth of food is thrown away in the United States every year.
Inofridge, a unique refrigerator design developed by BYU MET student Phil Rindlisbach, aims to fix this problem. Phil came up with the idea as he was cleaning out his fridge, removing all the food that had spoiled from sitting in the back of each shelf, unnoticed until it began to smell. Looking over his shoulder he saw a Lazy Susan and asked himself why refrigerators did not have a Lazy Susan-like system incorporated into them.
Phil realized the hole in the market and saw the potential for a better way to store perishables. Inofridge was born. Phil began working on his revolutionary design of turntable shelves in a fridge and was eager to prove is idea in the 2012 Student Innovator of the Year competition. “We competed in SIOY in 2012 and failed miserably. We realized what we were doing wrong, changed our strategy and competed again in 2014. It would have been easy to give up, but we see the benefits of not giving up. We just had to prove our market.”
Phil then began speaking with his potential customers. He learned that Inofridge has the potential to fix more than one issue. By incorporating the turntable system into a fridge, he has also found a way to provide a more evenly cooled environment in each fridge claiming that his studies have found up to a 10 degrees Fahrenheit difference from the back to the front of a conventional fridge. His newer designs are the result of research and a dynamic team. “The most important aspect of this has been my team, finding the right team members.” Working alongside Phil on Inofridge are 3 other MET students, 2 ME students, and one business major.
Inofridge is gaining momentum. “11 people want to use our prototype and 6 people are waiting to make an order once the product launches (estimated late 2016, patent pending). People really like it. 82% of people say they are likely to purchase it in the future.” Approached by LG this past year, they have high hopes for this April when they will give LG their pitch and current designs. Inofridge also gathered large crowds at the 2014 SIOY and was awarded Best Engineering Design. They also won $1000 at the 2015 Business Model Competition.
The current design, side by side with a competitor fridge of the same dimensions has the same internal capacity as the current traditional models found in homes throughout American today. Their website Inofridge.com provided video detail of the current design. Also, their 2015 BMC pitch can be found on YouTube, detailing the ingenuity of Inofridge and its benefits.
Students interested in viewing the working prototype here on BYU campus or interested in getting involved in the product development of Inofridge can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Phil says they are looking for students with business experience, electrical engineers, and MET students with experience or interest in prototyping.
Phil’s advice for student interested in innovation, don’t give up and have “the right team”.