Geek Cooking: Desktop USB Microwave Scans in RFID Meals

Like some kind of technogenetic hybrid, this nifty new desktop device blends the best elements of a toaster oven, high-tech miniature microwave and low-tech food printer (more on its scanning capabilities in a bit). It is the ultimate (not-for-cooks) geek gadget designed for cooking ready-to-eat meals when you are too busy to even leave your desk – it even looks like a piece of computer hardware, perhaps a printer or scanner, and yes: it has a USB port for plugging it in like anything else in a geek workspace.

But why all of the technology for a simple little microwave oven? Do not let the small size fool you: this innovative idea (dubbed ‘Brainwave’ by its designer, Stephen Gates) is a bit more complex than just another tiny appliance, and certainly smarter than even your standard full-size digital oven.

The broader concept includes an RFID-tagged plastic spoon (or fork) with every meal suited to the system, which in turn can be scanned along the side of the microwave to let it know what meal it is suppose to prepare and how. It might not be green, but it sure is fast and efficient for workaholics with little time to cook a real meal in the middle of a busy day at the office.

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