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The coffee table is a piece of furniture that has remained largely unchanged for centuries (OK, or maybe just since the TV was invented). It’s high time this oversized leg rest got a 21st century facelift. And the New York-based company StoreBound has thought of just the thing: the Sobro, a smart coffee table.
Before you’re all, “Seriously, a smart coffee table?,” hear this out. The Sobro, an Indiegogo project, melds a coffee table, a refrigerator, and a Bluetooth speaker all into one piece of furniture. Never again would you have to pry yourself off the couch to grab another beer from the fridge; the fridge is a drawer right in front of you. And surround sound? Why yes, you’ve (kind of) got that too, thanks to Bluetooth speakers at either end of the table. It also includes two USB charging ports and a traditional power outlet so that you can charge your phone or laptop without leaving the couch, either.
In the “smart” column, it can connect to your TV via Bluetooth and has a touch control audio interface on one corner of its tempered glass top. In the “normal” category, it also includes a pair of non-refrigerated drawers where you can stash things like your remote control collection, your iPad, or your empty beer cans. And for the “kind of weird, but digging it” file, it also includes LED lighting. You can use your coffee table to set the mood when it’s time to Netflix and chill.
Unfortunately, with all that gadgetry and storage, the Sobro isn’t the best-looking coffee table out there. The white version wouldn’t be out of place in a science lab. Luckily, it also comes in black and wood veneers, which may better mesh with your personal living room decor. The table does need to be plugged into a wall outlet to keep its fridge drawer cold and its power outlets powered, too. That could be annoying depending on the layout of your home.
The Sobro is currently raising funds on Indiegogo, with estimated an shipping date of September 2017. As of this writing, you can pre-order one for yourself for as little as $599, plus shipping. But hurry: That perk will sell out soon, bumping the price to $699.
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.