Skip to main content

Phononic's thermoelectric fridges aim to revolutionize the appliance industry

Phononic CEO: Transforming The Fridge | Mad Money | CNBC
When Phononic first unveiled its plans for a solid-state refrigerator in 2014, semiconductor technology existed solely in devices such as LED lights and computers like Apple’s MacBook Air. Since then, the implementation of such technology in fridges caught the attention of home appliance and electronics company Haier, which has since partnered with the company to develop an innovative wine cooler.

Now, according to a recent appearance by Phononic CEO Tony Atti on CNBC’s Mad Money, the company has yet again partnered with Haier, only this time the duo plans to build a full-size, solid-state refrigerator.

So what’s the big deal about solid-state tech in a fridge? For starters, a semiconductor-touting fridge would feature no compressor, no moving parts or cooling liquids, and would operate at a near whisper. Furthermore, the thermoelectric tech would allow the fridge to operate using 25 percent less energy than standard refrigerators while (likely) costing around the same price — despite being outfitted with next-gen technology. Currently, Phononic’s fridges are found in hospitals and science labs, though the partnership with Haier aims to bring its appliances to the consumer side later this year.

“They’re in production as we speak,” Atti said on Mad Money. “The beauty of the semiconductor innovation behind Phononic is we’re leveraging what semiconductors have done many times before. The transistor’s given us the IT world, the LED chip has taken out Mr. Edison’s light bulb. You’ve seen no change in compressors, heat sinks, and fans going on 100 years despite servicing $30 billion in global markets.”

Phononic3
Phononic CEO Tony Atti Phononic

Atti continued by acknowledging that any young company faces a hefty dose of skepticism when entering a massive market, a feeling quickly exemplified by Mad Money host Jim Cramer asking if Phononic’s fridges actually keep things cold. “One of the things about disruptors, every single case, I find it a little hard to believe … these are things that are not supposed to happen,” Cramer exclaimed.

However, while sharing a beer with the typically frenetic host, Atti proved that not only does Phononic’s tech have the ability to keep ale refreshingly chilled, but that it has all the elements needed to silence its doubters — hence the reason why an appliance titan like Haier jumped on board. He continued by revealing that Haier will conduct the final product assembly while Phononic will continue to manufacture the semiconductor components from its headquarters in Durham, North Carolina.

“The products that we’re pricing are at parity with products already on the market despite the fact that the performance features are superior, and we’re looking at attractive gross markets,” Atti continued.

While Cramer continued to drool over the tech as if it were one of Elon Musk’s Teslas — though honestly, who wouldn’t want one of these revolutionary fridges? — Atti said the first batch of Phononic slash Haier fridges will be available in China later in 2016. Cheaper, more efficient, and damn near impossible to malfunction; this isn’t just a new player in the refrigerator industry, it just might wind up being the only player.

Rick Stella
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Rick became enamored with technology the moment his parents got him an original NES for Christmas in 1991. And as they say…
Best Ninja Foodi deals: Pressure cookers, grills, and air fryers
Unloading food from the Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 Smart XL.

The Ninja Foodi lineup offers a range of small kitchen appliances such as air fryers and pressure cookers, and it’s even known to make some impressive blenders and indoor grills. All of these appliances are in play for some savings right now, as there are some great Ninja Foodi deals to shop. They even include some of the best air fryer deals we’ve seen lately. We’ve rounded up all of the best Ninja Foodi deals you can shop right now and you can find them all below in addition to some information on why each device might be the right one to add to your kitchen. There are also several other ways to save while adding to your smart kitchen out there right now. You can shop refrigerator deals and oven deals if you’re looking for larger appliances, or there are some really great coffee maker deals worth shopping and they include both Keurig deals and Nespresso deals.
Ninja Foodi PossibleCooker Pro — $120, was $150

The Ninja Foodi PossibleCooker Pro is capable of saving you a lot of counter space, as it can replace 14 different cooking tools and appliances. It can slow cook, steam, warm, sauté, steam, and roast, and it can do the work of appliances such as cast iron skillets, saucepans, stock pots, and Dutch ovens. It’s perfect for entertaining, as it has an 8.5-quart capacity that allows you to make foods like chili for up to 20 people. The Ninja Foodi PossibleCooker Pro cooks up to 30% faster than conventional ovens, and offers easy cleanup with a nonstick pot.

Read more
Fitness deals: treadmills, ellipticals, weights on sale
nordictrack x32i treadmill review press lifestyle

It's not talked about often, but staying healthy and exercising regularly can really help with your mental health, and if you're the sort of person who struggles to stay active, it can be tough. Luckily, there is a lot of great fitness equipment that can help motivate you to keep going with minimal effort. That's why home gym deals can be quite beneficial for those who struggle with exercise, but if you're just looking to start out with basics, then there are some great fitness deals on things like treadmills and dumbells available. We've collected some of our favorites below, but it's also worth checking out these NordicTrack deals and Bowflex deals.
Adjustable Dumbbell 25-pound 5-In-1 Single — $85, was $130

One of the worst things about dumbbell training is having too many dumbbells. They can take over your whole gym. This deal (on a SINGLE dumbbell, so buy two!) can take the place of five dumbbells in your complete gym kit. Instead of one 55-pound dumbbell, you're getting an 11-pound dumbbell, a 22-pound dumbbell, and so on up until the 55 pounder. This is advantageous if you're just starting out with working out and don't know what weight you need to start with or if you want to do different exercises with different weights. Finally, note that the design of the adjustable dumbbell is quite safe as you can only adjust the weights (via a simple handle turning mechanism) while they are laid carefully on tray. Once they're off, the weight is "locked in" so to speak until you return them to the try. No lost toenails here!

Read more
Best Dyson deals: Cordless vacuums, purifying fans, and beauty
The Dyson V15 Detect cordless vacuum with its laser.

If you aren't familiar with Dyson, it's a company that was first made famous by those fancy-looking bladeless fans but that has now taken that tech and spread out to a huge selection of products, including vacuum cleaners and hair straighteners. Unfortunately, it is a high-end brand, which means that all of its devices are pretty expensive; even the basic stuff, like its SuperSonic Hair Dryer, can cost up to $500, which is a lot of cash. Luckily, there are a lot of great deals floating around that you can take advantage of, and we've collected some of our favorites below.

That said, if you haven't quite found what you're looking for, you can check out these vacuum deals, cordless vacuum deals, and air purifier deals instead.
Best Dyson fan deals

Read more