The runaway popularity of the pod-based Keurig coffee system has proven that we want personalized, single-portion options when it comes to beverages – and an Israeli startup is striving to bring the same personalization to our meals. The Genie cooker also uses pods along with natural ingredients to serve up delicious on-demand meals in less than a minute.
The inventors say that they borrowed inspiration for the Genie from the Replicator in Star Trek. The Replicator created elaborate meals on demand in the far reaches of space. The Genie may not be able to replicate any meal you can dream up, but its individual pods will serve up real food – anything from couscous with veggies to muffins and desserts.
It seems kind of impossibly simple: pop in a pod containing the food you want, then the Genie adds in liquids, mixes everything up, and cooks your meal to your preferences. The meals are customizable based on dietary restrictions and can be made without gluten, eggs, or dairy if needed. Only natural ingredients along with dehydrated fruits and vegetables are used in the food pods. For more elaborate dishes, users can add in additional dry ingredients from their kitchens.
An accompanying mobile app allows you to choose recipes, set preferences, and control the cooking or baking process. The pods, which have a shelf life of one to two years, don’t take up much space and preparing a Genie meal requires absolutely no kitchen skills. The almost-instant cooking gadget is a feasible step on the way to 3D printing all of our food; in fact, the company is planning a small initial launch in Israel in mid-2015.
Although the Genie is handy (and – let’s be honest – just really, really cool), the inventors don’t expect anyone to rely on the encapsulated food for every meal. However, military personnel in the field and people without easy access to food could make a huge change in the quality and nutritional content of their meals by using the Genie.