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Cold-Cab – door to the future

What do you do when you’ve been in the same business for over 30 years? You innovate, says Veiko Põldsaar, the head of research and development (R&D) department of Viljandi Windows and Doors. As the name suggests the company specialises in windows and doors.

When Veiko Põldsaar and his colleagues at Viljandi Window & Door Ltd began development of a new product two years ago, they were keen on creating a smart front door for apartments or private residences featuring a smart lock and CCTV cameras.

“As we already had a front door product in our portfolio which had a big glass pane next to the door we started to think about how to use the space more usefully,” Põldsaar explains.

And from there emerged the idea to incorporate a refrigerator that could be accessed from both sides of the door. This innovation, named Cold-Cab, is useful for contact-free delivery from online retailers. It comes as a set: Cold-Cab plus a front door with smart lock and cameras.

Cold-Cab gives its owner the freedom to order food or other perishable goods by courier, whether there is someone to receive it or not, also giving the courier the ability to make deliveries at a convenient time.

The order confirmation document provides couriers with a unique access code that allows them to open the Cold-Cab and place items in the refrigerator, in the freezer unit, or on the package shelf. Access is only to the Cold-Cab and excludes entry to the home or apartment. Thanks to a built-in battery, the smart door-lock will continue to operate even if electricity fails and the courier can still make their delivery.

In the R&D phase the company experimented with a wide variety of fridge options, in the end selecting a refrigerator normally used on luxury yachts. They’ve built the refrigerator and freezer on in-out rails, allowing two-way access from both outside and inside the home.

Cold-Cab offers three different storage compartments – a freezer that holds up to 18 litres of goods, a refrigerator that can manage up to 24 litres, and a package shelf accommodating up to 180 litres which is adequate for client’s larger high-value deliveries such as electronics.

The pandemic has demonstrated both a need and a market for this type of product – a convenient, innovative solution that saves time, protects deliveries, and minimises the need for physical contact.

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