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Networked Refrigerated Microwave 223

Posted by michael
from the press-enter dept.
shades6666 writes "BBC news is reporting that Tonight's Menu Intelligent Ovens has developed a refrigerated microwave that can be controlled over the net or by mobile phone. The prototype uses a Peltier cooling device. It expects the appliances to be ready by the end of the year, costing around $2,000."
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Networked Refrigerated Microwave

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  • I sure hope the software to control it is *VERY* secure, so I don't have random microwaves causing mischief around my house.
    • Re:Software (Score:2, Funny)

      by ackthpt (218170)
      I sure hope the software to control it is *VERY* secure, so I don't have random microwaves causing mischief around my house.

      I'd be more worried about some unethical varlet cracking into my meal preparation system and turning my Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam into a small, black, krinkled thing that looks like a strip of bacon just returned from the core of th

      • Re:Software (Score:3, Funny)

        by los furtive (232491)

        ...Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam...

        Um, what brand of microwave are you using, and do you accept dinner guests?

    • Microwave controllable over the internet.
      oh, that's JUST what I need, hackers fucking up my microwave dinners.

      I'm pretty sure my Talkie Toaster (patent applied for) would get upset as well. He likes his space.
  • by Sagarian (519668) <smiller@alum.m i t . edu> on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @03:34PM (#5687948)
    is Internet-enabled ingredients that know how to prepare themselves and then hop into the microwave!
    • Now would be a good time to start breeding those smart cows from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. You can send them an e-mail to let them know when to baste themselves and hop in the oven.
  • by dewboy (22280) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @03:36PM (#5687951) Homepage Journal
    One of my friends and I often discuss the idea of the networked house, where everything can be remotely controlled. He always brought up one problem when I said "Hey wouldn't a networked stove/microwave/etc be a really cool idea??" : He pointed out that you actually need to physically put the food into the device - something that requires either a lot of expensive machinery or ... you. And a lot of foresight. Most people who are lazy enough to use something like this lack foresight. I know I do.
    • I think the idea here is that in the morning before you leave for work, you put your frozen dinner in the fridge-o-wave, and it keeps it cold. Then, when you're on your way home, you send the signal over the internet to start heating it up, so it's ready when you get home.
    • Lego Mindstorms. :-)
    • I'm sorry, but IMHO this refigerated-microwave thing has to take out the LG-Internet-Refrigerator-Award for the most stupid application of technology.

      I mean, if I want to heat up a meal in a microwave it takes all of two minutes; if I want to defrost meat it takes at most five minutes. So what am I going to do - stop the car *two minutes* away from home and call up my microwave just so I can have that hot meal waiting for me when I come in the door??

      I think not ...

  • So do you want an appliance that when hacked it burns your house down?

    -Sean
    • No kidding. While this sounds incredibly cool, it really has not practical application and it's potentially dangerous. We've had the technology to build "smart" homes for quite some time now, but people are discovering that there really is no need.

      The truth is, when it's time to cook something to eat you really do need to be there anyway.
    • So do you want an appliance that when hacked it burns your house down?

      I think it depends on how the appliance is designed. If the web server and the computer that controls the appliance are separate then even if you hack the web server you can only send the standard commands to the controller that are available through the web interface.

      The important thing is that you shouldn't be able to do anything malicious through the web interface like defrost a fridge or put an oven on broil. I noticed in the art

  • Ah!! They beat me to market. Now who will buy my microwave-enabled networked refrigerator?
  • by binaryDigit (557647) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @03:37PM (#5687964)
    Great

    Mon - Windoze patch
    Tue - Linux kernel patch
    Wed - sendmail/samba patch
    Thu - IIS/Outlook patch
    Fri - Microwave/Fridge patch
    Sat - Nerd wish I had a date instead of being on /. patch
    Sun - Car ECU patch
  • is to be able to start a fire at our homes *remotely*

    Hope nobody installs a backdoor... hope nobody send a virus to my cell which will turn on all my appliances....

    Technology is not always good.... is it?
  • by de_boer_man (459797) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @03:38PM (#5687973)
    When I walk to the pantry from my home office to get munchies for the day, I can take last night's pizza out of the refrigerator and put it in the microwave. This will save me the trip later. At lunchtime, I won't even have to wait the two minutes until the pizza is hot. I can turn the microwave oven on from my office, nearly fifty feet away!

    Wow. Technology is grand. I'll hit that 350-lb mark yet!
  • Nifty! (Score:4, Funny)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @03:38PM (#5687974) Homepage
    I only hope that it can talk to my Bluetooth-enabled heated ice cube tray.
  • Crock pot? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guido1 (108876) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @03:40PM (#5687987)
    I may have more culinary talents than most, but if I know that I'm going to be too busy to make dinner, I'll toss a slab of beef and some potatos in the crock pot in the morning, and eat whenever I want to at night.

    And it sure as heck tastes better than anything that comes out of the microwave.

    Moving on...

    Does anyone here think internet appliances are going to take off? The only good ideas I can see are:

    A webcam in the fridge, so I could check if I needed to hit the store, and
    Thermostat, so if I'm going to be gone all night I'm not heating/cooling the house needlessly.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      A webcam in the fridge, so I could check if I needed to hit the store...

      Yes, you can finally settle the age-old question of whether the light is on when the door is closed!
    • Re:Crock pot? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by zCyl (14362)
      If every product were individually tagged so your kitchen and appliances always knew what was inside of them, then yes, internet appliances could be rather useful. Imagine if you could simply specify the foods you want to keep in stock, and your computer could automatically generate your grocery list. Or if you could get a pop-up window at 4pm that says, "That ground beef in the fridge is about to expire, you'd better make it tonight or freeze it." Or if your fridge beeped when you took bad milk out of i
    • A webcam in the fridge

      That's a great idea. I think I'll put one in mine and start a porn site: "Watch my fridge mold reproduce."
  • by writertype (541679) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @03:40PM (#5687988)
    How many times have you waited for your plate of microwavable chicken wings to cool down before you can eat them? This will speed the process up immensely. ;)

    And I bet defrosting the fridge would go like *that*...

  • by Dossy (130026) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @03:40PM (#5687993) Homepage Journal
    For $2,000, the front window better be an active overlay that renders a thermal scan of the contents of the microwave, so I can see exactly how hot the AOL CD that it's nuking is getting.

    "Excuse me, what's that racked next to the Cisco 7000?" "Oh, that? That's our new stackable 24-port 10/100 switch and microwave combo unit."

    -- Dossy
    (I wonder how many RC5 keys this new microwave can break.)
  • Gerbils (Score:3, Funny)

    by The_Rippa (181699) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @03:40PM (#5687994)
    Now I can have my exploded gerbils chilled promptly afterwards.

    Sweet!
  • A Peltier junction that could effectively cool the space of an average microwave oven costs around $60 on the high side. Throw in adequate heatsinking and fans to the tune of another $20-30. An expensive microwave costs about $130. Embedded webserver and the associated hardware, maybe $300.

    Does this device seem like an utter ripoff to anyone else? I understand "niche market" but come on... A top-of-the-line laptop costs LESS than two grand...
    • A top of the line is expensive. Most family computers are a bit under $1k right? But a developer's workstation could easily be $3k. A cheap espresso machine is $100, but a flash one is around $1000. A board for playing go starts at around $100, but a flash one can exceed $10000. Etc, etc. Table salt is what, under a dollar a pound? In every field there are plenty of people just waiting to sell you the very best for about ten times more than a cheap thing. Oh, and an expensive microwave goes for at least
  • I had a very small beverage fridge that used the peltier element. long story short, it didnt get mut the slightest bit cool and did not chill drinks. took it back. waste of money

    -Foxxz
    • I'll vouch for this. We have an instrument in our lab for autosampling which has (had) a peltier cooling system. The samples were required to be cooled between 2-8C. No matter how much fiddling we did with it, we couldn't get it cold enough. We managed to get it down to 6, but that wasn't cold enough to keep the samples below 8.

      We returned it and went with a unit that had an actual refrigeration unit built in and have been happy.

  • by garcia (6573)
    TMIO has been working on their fridge-oven for about six years. Mr Mansbery came up with the idea because his family was missing out on regular meals.

    Ok, most ovens have timer controls already on them that you can set ahead of time to start either pre-heating the oven or baking outright (my mother used this ever since I can remember).

    Ok, so you can CANCEL the operation over the 'Net/Phone which is I guess an acceptable feature, but... I really don't see how this can be adventageous UNLESS the god damn t
  • Instead of embedding webservers into everything, why not devlelop a new protocol for use by these types of rather simple applicances. This way you won't get 500 different types of web interfaces to these things. Then you could do some really cool stuff like being able to create scripts without having to worry about which brand etc. You could have your oven turn on, cook at 450 for an hour, then turn on burners 2 and 3 to start the veggies (you do eat your veggies don't you?) and when the roast gets to a
  • $2000? Hmm.. Microwave costs, what $100 for an OK, model. Couple peltier coolers @ $5 each from the local parts place. Stuff some insullation in the microwave... The network stuff can probably be engineered from off the shelf parts from Fry's [vwh.net] for a couple hundred and a few hours fooling around with code and or config. So why is this $2000?

    It would be cool to see /. endorse a little friendly competition among readers to knock one of these together for the lowest cost, meeting minimum specifications, i.

    • It would be cool to see /. endorse a little friendly competition among readers to knock one of these together for the lowest cost, meeting minimum specifications, i.e. keeps food chilled or frozen, able to be called with minimal fuss. Cooks food.
      Well, we sure as hell ain't slashdot but. . .
      I HEREBY ANNOUNCE THE REED AND WRIGHT NEW GEN APPLIANCE CONTEST!
      This is a contest to build a combination refrigerator/oven that is remotely addressable, compact, and scriptable.
      Submit entries to me, with specs, costs,
    • Re:$2000??? (Score:2, Insightful)

      While I think this device is ridiculouly overpriced for what it does... nuked food generally isn't too tasy anyway, they're on the right track. I considered converting a coffeepot into an oatmeal cooker cause I like oatmeal, and I was running out of time to make it right in the morning (hate that instant craap!!) Fortunately I figured out the problem was just that I needed to get up earlier, so I started going to bed 15 min earlier. But I digress. A better idea would be a crockpot that refrigerated the food
  • In related news, I am looking forward to dry-powder shampoo, ice cube ovens, and water-based olive oil.

    And while you're at it, give me a stair machine that walks me DOWN the stairs instead of up them.
  • So this device is primed to be on the 'Dangerous Technology' list right?

    -Foxxz
  • In the wonderful world of ideas, there is a kind of ecology. In that ecology, the idea of an intelligent kitchen is bound the way of the videophone. That is, well yes, perhaps for niche applications, but not mainstream. I'm not aware of any kind of pent-up demand for smart appliances. I mean, most of the people that expend a lot of time in kitchems are hardly nuclear physicists. "Real" appliance manufacturers (the ones that really sell their wares to the usual kitchen) spend a lot of time thinking about how
  • The company has used embedded web technology...they do not need to have a computer built inside

    Hey Marge, they have the Internet OFF computers now!
  • by Radi-0-head (261712) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @03:48PM (#5688055)
    What percentage of Slashdot users do you think will try to install Linux on it?
  • I'll pass (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @03:49PM (#5688061) Homepage
    Well, first off, you're saving what, 6 minutes at the most? That's how long it takes to cook most microwave dishes, except the ones which require quite a bit of manual assistance, which this gizmo couldn't prepare automatically anyway. You're also limited to the dish you chose when you left the house; no flexibility for last-minute changes of appetite. (Haven't you ever gone to the freezer for one nukable food, and decided to cook something else instead?)

    For the pirce and complexity of this gizmo, I think I'd rather just nuke it when I'm ready for it.
  • by ip_vjl (410654) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @03:50PM (#5688070) Homepage
    Since microwaves don't take all that long to cook anyway, I don't see a huge need for it to start without me.

    But if you're going to the trouble of networking your microwave, how about having it do something useful.

    Put a barcode reader on it so that when I pull out the box of frozen Mac and Cheese, I can scan it and have it lookup the correct cook cycle for an oven of that wattage.

    Or for these things that require XX minutes on low then XX on high ... it could just figure that out by itself and set itself accordingly.

    A small LCD display could even display instructions at certain points in the cycle (beeping to get my attention) "Remove cover and stir, then press the START button to continue cooking."

    • How about an integrated metal detector too?
      We all know why....
    • I was thinking the exact same thing... was about to post the idea until I saw your comment =)

      I have wondered for some time why they haven't gone away from minutes on microwave oven directions to a numerical instruction similiar to the old VCR Plus codes, which would tell the microwave how to cook the food, and to which the microwave can apply it's own wattage into the formula.
    • Wow. That's a genuinely good idea. Especially for my mom, who refuses to believe that there are cooking instructions, right on the box of all places...
    • by swb (14022)
      Dunno if they'd start a fire or could be made out of less microwave-hostile material, but RFID tags would be even better, because the microwave could read the tag without barcode reading problems.

      Make the RFID sturdy enough to withstand being microwaved and give it some kind of temperature probe ability and not only would you get an accurate time auto-set into the microwave, but you could have the food cooked to the ideal serving temperature as well.

  • It takes 2 minutes to cool a meal.

    It takes 15 minutes to connect via GPRS, type in the website, and navagte the menus. By that time you'll be home.
  • Er... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Skyshadow (508) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @03:51PM (#5688083) Homepage
    When, exactly, did life become so hectic that we need to be automating the microwave to speed up dining even more?

    Learn to cook for real, people. It's cheaper, sometimes healthy and definately more satisfying. Cooking is a lot like coding -- you follow instructions. Good cooking is a lot like hacking -- you follow the instructions and then do what feels right.

    Lemme get you started:

    Cajun Honey Shrimp and Sausage Linguine
    2 servings
    1/2 package linguine
    2 serrano peppers, sliced
    3 cloves garlic, sliced
    3 T honey
    3 T balsamic vinegar
    3 tomatoes, chopped
    1/4 c. fresh chopped basil or 2 T dried
    1 link hot Italian sausage, casing removed and rolled into marble-sized balls
    cream cheese
    olive oil
    12 21-25 ct. uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
    1/4 c. sliced green onions

    Boil water for pasta in a large pot. Heat saucepan to medium with a small amount of olive oil. Toss in the sausage balls, sauteing until they're browned (3 minutes or so). Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add chopped tomatoes to pan and stir it up. Add the pasta to the pasta pot and begin cooking according to package directions (usually 11-12 minutes). Add peppers and basil to pan, stir together. Stir honey and balsamic vinegar into sauce. Add up to 1/4 c water from the boiling pasta pot (this will be dependant on how much water was in the tomatoes; you'll get a good feel for this after a few times making this dish). Continue to stir sauce periodically. When pasta is done, drain and return to pot with 2 or 3 T of olive oil - just enough to make it a little shiny. Mix in two spoonfulls of the sauce and mix well.

    Add shrimp and green onions to sauce, cook 1-2 minutes, stirring a few times and flipping shimp in the sauce -- DO NOT OVERCOOK THE SHRIMP!

    To serve, put pasta on a plate and top with sauce. Spoon 4 or 5 1/4 t. balls of cream cheese on top. Serve with wine; I highly recommend a Gewürztraminer.

    • ...it's that people aren't so much frantic as they are exhausted by the time they get home.

      Simple potato soup recipie:

      2 lbs potatoes, washed and diced
      4 cups chicken broth or veggie broth
      1 onion, peeled and diced
      4 green onions, washed and chopped
      2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
      butter, 1 tablespoon
      olive oil, 1 tablespoon
      frozen peas and/or corn

      Put butter and olive oil into the bottom of a soup pot. Let it melt and move it around to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onions, green onions and garlic. Let
  • ...and I pity the desperately lonely souls on their evening train ride home, glued to their cell phones and talking to their appliances.
  • Anything thats costs this much and poses a potential nuke threat to my beer is just not on.
  • Wow, what a bargain! Only $2000 to make sure my microwave burritos are nice and toast by the time I come home from work.
  • by morcheeba (260908) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @04:02PM (#5688158) Journal
    The Polara Refrigerated Range [whirlpool.com] is the same, but is a convection oven rather than a microwave. It's got a real compressor, and is available in stores now!
  • What am I missing? Peltier devices can either heat or cool depending on which way the current is running. Wouldn't it be simpler to have a combination refridgerator/oven/toaster oven? The only problem would be coming up with a high temp insulator. Oh...wait...fiberglass.

    This would also make more sense as a product since microwaves cook things quickly and ovens do not (but give much better flavor and texture). Since this thing doesn't come with a robot arm to prepare the food (or maybe that is why it

  • I worked at a place with an environmental testing chamber, easily big enough to put in pizzas and crank up the heat, with liquid nitorgen bottles for cooling ... wasn't internet enabled, tho ...but this was 15 years ago ... wonder what they are like now?
  • NetBSD? :)
  • by prisoner-of-enigma (535770) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @04:07PM (#5688189) Homepage
    Fifty years ago, consumers were promised automation gadgets that would give us more free time. What do we have now? Remote controlled ovens to cook our food because we're too busy to cook it ourselves.

    What have we come to?

    I leave the house before the sun comes up every day. I wade through an hour's worth of traffic. I spend ten hours a day at my job, but only about twenty minutes at lunch, then wade through an hour's worth of traffic on the way home. It's dark when I get there. Weekends exist only to catch up on things I couldn't get done during the week.

    I'm certain I'm not the only one out there that lives like this. Gadgets like this freezer/oven seem neat, but to me it suddenly throws into sharp contrast just what we're doing with our lives. Have we gotten so busy that we no longer have time to cook a meal? That's pretty fucking pitiful, if you ask me.
    • by be-fan (61476)
      I've always wondered about the same thing. We're so busy making money to buy stuff like this, and we don't really think about what we're loosing. People are so busy they don't have time to see their kids more than once a week. I saw a magazine recommend that a family sit down to a meal together at least once a week! Once a week? In my house, it was every day unless something unusual came up. Then you have the impact on politics. Democracy requires a knowledgable public. How's the public supposed to be knowl
    • by pen (7191)
      This is certainly the path many people are taking today, but it is a choice that each one of them makes.

      • You choose to work 10 hours a day.
      • You (may) choose to lead a life that requires working 10 hours a day.
      • You choose to own and drive a car that you have to pay for.
      • You choose to work at a job that is only accessible by car.
      • ... and so on
    • And yet the description of your life completely validates the need for this product. I'm not trying to rag on you, but I know many people that think just the way you do. They somehow attempt to complain about their life AND make it look highly honorable in the same sentence. If you're working 50-60 hours a week, you have no one to blame but yourself. Take some time-management classes or read a book on the subject or something but accept the fact that your routine is not the norm.

      Getting a little back o
  • by pummer (637413)
    What if, say, this were left on too long and it started smoking? No one would be there to turn it off. Safety hazard if you ask me.
  • You can also get the companion applicance to this...the Polara range [whirlpool.com]. It's a refridgerated oven. Apparently you can toss in your lasagna the night before and out comes a hot meal the next evening sans the food bourne illness [slashdot.org]. At $1799 for the cheap model, it is even cheaper the then the mentioned microwave. It however is not networked.
  • Now I don't need a sun-oven trailer [e-greenstar.com] to cook dinner while driving home! (Unfortunately now I have no excuse for leaving work at 3pm either.)
  • by mcrbids (148650) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @04:17PM (#5688229) Journal
    Doesn't this sound an awful lot like having a brake pedal that's also the gas pedal in a car? (but with an ethernet port!)

    I can just see it now...

    "This here is a brake pedal, that also runs the gas! Want to speed up? Push that pedal! Want to slow down? Push that same pedal! Want to speed up or slow down REMOTELY, when you aren't even in the car?!? Just load VNC, and click on the 'PEDAL' button on your screen!"

    OOOOH! aaaaahhhhhh!

    Some ideas are just too stupid to take seriously. Anybody remember the bar code reader that was supposed to revolutionize reading magazines?
  • Which would make it marginally more useful, since it takes longer to bake stuff than it does to microwave it.

    The pictures are of a small thing about the size of a microwave, but the text of the article seems to indicate that it just heats things (the peltier heaters are just regular heat, right?)

    Still not terribly useful, I mean, will it punch a hole in the bag and whatnot as well?

    -Zipwow
  • Economic calculation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by f97tosc (578893) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @04:25PM (#5688261)
    Time saved using device 5 min /meal

    Premium payed for device $1500

    Probable lifetime of device 5 years

    Times per week using device 2

    Cost per heated meal = $1500/(5*52*2) ~= $3

    Money per unit time saved $3/5 min = $60 / hour

    Conclusion: device useful only for people with high hourly incomes, short on time, and frequent eaters of microwave food. Probably a small customer segment.

    Tor
  • This website is being revised and is temporarily unavailable

    Yeah right....
    More like "Oh shit we are being slashdotted. Take the site down!"

  • I would think a real oven with the refrigeration and remote control would be more useful here... I mean who really cooks a meal that takes longer than 10 minutes in a microwave? However, it would be great to throw a meal in the oven for the day and have it start cooking an hour before you get home...

    I'm of course glazing over the fact that any sort of appliance (especially one that can burn your house down) should not be accessible from the internet.
  • This sort of tech has been the subject of discussion on ne.food [ne.food] recently. My own take is that combo devices like the Polaris oven/'fridge are great for those with clock-steady regular lives but for myself and my friends we're too erratic with work, traffic, life, to commit to being home at 6:15pm sharp for however nice a hot meal.

    Rather a unit that could be preloaded with a roast or a lasagna or whatever and then remotely triggered via webphone or such would be much more useful, improve on my parent's 50 year old CookMaster with dual timers. I'd love to prep a main course the night before, or even a series of 'em over the weekend, put them into the combo unit in the am and start it all cooking 45 minutes or whatever before I expect to be home. Or if smoething comes up I just change my plans and not trigger the cook cycle, come home at midnight after a night out on the town to my meal still ready to be cooked the next day.

    However as microwave ovens are usually used as quickie-cookers I don't see a 'net enabled one of them being a big hit; most of the long cooking action happens in a heat oven. Same with most other appliances there's not much advantage to remote operation. Blender, mixer, chopper, cooktop, toaster - I wanna be there for those to be on. The 'fridge & freezer? Well it'd be nice to get an alert if they suddenly start getting warm but beyond that who cares?

    Inventory control? I could see some advantage to my pantry, 'fridge & freezer keeping track of what I have, hold old it is ("Time to replace the Paprika - it's just red dust now... The chicken needs to be used within 3 days, the milk is low, the lettuce on it's way out.") but really that's a local affair, no need to make it "Internet" just networkable. Indeed rather then entering all the information locally (never had any ambition to be a market clerk) I'd just as soon prefer my grocer email me a nicely formatted file every time I shop, dismiss with the long papertape version. That my kitchen app could use to make a good guess of what is going on in the larder and make suggestions, certainly a better investment then laser-scanners on every shelf and RF tags in the dairy goods.

  • by anubi (640541)
    I really see only one thing fundamentally wrong with this concept. And its psychological, not technical.

    On the very first instance of network enabled appliances I have had exposure to, the humble VCR, the first thing it does is want to phone home to get permission to do anything.

    I can only imagine having monthly bills arriving in my mailbox for every appliance I have.. washing machine, dryer, refrigerator, etc. And any attempt I make of divorcing them from the net would be considered criminal.

  • Peltier Devices... (Score:3, Informative)

    by AyeRoxor! (471669) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @04:36PM (#5688349) Journal
    Here [peltier-info.com] is a buttload of information on solid-state cooling and other odd functions of peltier devices.
  • by ivan256 (17499) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @04:42PM (#5688384)
    This is a great press release reprint. I wasn't aware that the BBC was counting that as journalism now too. Some choice quotes: "Embedded web technology developed by NASA" (and countless bored college students)... "Doesn't contain a computer" (as long as you define computer as an x86 based PC with a VGA monitor). Give me a break. When MIT students internet enabled their soda machines in the early '90s it was an original idea. Now it's been done before, and they're applying it to a fairly non-useful device (you can really only cook one thing in a microwave at a time).

    Besides, people have been leaving their stuff in the oven on time-bake for ages, why do we suddenly need to refridgerate it for the whole day before the heat kicks in now? Can't we just have an internet enabled time-bake feature, and skip this silly refridgeration.
    • When MIT students internet enabled their soda machines in the early '90s it was an original idea.
      No, it wasn't. Carnegie-Mellon students network-enabled *their* soda machines in the early eighties.

      But your basic point is valid. Much puffery, little data.
      Rustin
  • Two words:

    Kitchen Fire

    Virutally every cook book, and even packaging pre-prepared foods say not to leave the cooking food unattended. Now they're not only giving you a way to not attend it, but to not be there when it starts.

    Here's a few references to read before we start:

    A few fatally famous Software Bugs [tu-muenchen.de],

    The Therac-25 Radiation Overdose accidents [vt.edu] from 1975 to 1987.

    and

    Microsoft makes hackers obsolete [slashdot.org]

    ---> Worst case scenerio 1:

    Hacker A finds this device. He manages to figure ou
  • and your roast is toast.

    - PETA
  • Robots are slowly coming down in price. With all the innovations in bipedal robot locomotion, it will only be a matter of time before robots like the Asimo are common place.

    I only see this peltier oven as a short term, limited lifecycle product. It's only a matter of time before I can go to the web interface of my Asimo at home, and tell it to monitor the GPS location of my car as I drive home from work, take a few El Monteray Burrito's out of the freezer 5 minutes before I get home, place them in the micr
  • I mean, its cooled, its internet enabled, makes snacks. If it runs quake, it's my new lan-party machine.
  • ... USB controlled George Foreman Grill!
  • Okay, let's take a look at what's in this thing. It's got some kind of web server capability, big whoop, and a cooling unit, and it can control the heating system of the microwave. I suspect you would need either two or three pins to control these devices. The xport [commanderx.com] has three control pins.

    What else do you need to support this? Just a little bit of electronic crap to tie the xport into some higher-power signals, perhaps relays or mosfets, hopefully optically isolated, to protect the $50 xport device, whi

  • If you have all of your frozen meals in those little plastic cylinders that they use at the bank, you could pick your poison, WHOOSH, it gets tubed to the microwave, cooks it, and then when it's done WHOOOSH! have it delivered to the little port that comes out by your computer! If done properly it could even the clean and reload the little cylinder that it delivers your food in!

    All you will have to do then is mount all of this up in your fully networked bathroom and you will never have to move again.
  • ... for the John Varley reference in the department line, though.
  • by tuxlove (316502)
    I spoke at length with this guy at CES this year, and his products are quite cool (no pun intended). Not only do they make a microwave, but also an oven with the same functionality (i.e. refrigeration and networked control. Pretty amazing stuff. Keeps your food cool until cooking starts, and you can tell remotely when the oven has been opened (as the CEO of the company told me, that's so he can tell that his aged mother is actually eating the food w/o having to physically check in with her). I want one of e
  • Now let me get this straight. The inventor came up with the refrigerated microwave because his family was eating too much fast food in order to accommodate their son's busy baseball schedule. The few minutes it takes to nuke up a dinner in the normal way would not fit into their schedule. Life was so hectic that during the 6 years he spent developing the microwave it never occurred to him to spend 15 minutes loading up a crockpot and a bread machine in the morning.

    "The oven provides you with a method of h
  • I'm thinking I want to have an eye, or at least an ear on a microwave while it's cooking... how long is it going to be before someone puts a package dinner, wrapped completely in foil, into the microwave, starts it cooking while they're on the way home, and arrives to smoke billowing out of their kitchen?

    You'd want these things to have some pretty good safety mechanisms, otherwise the instances of housefires is just going to skyrocket if these ever become mainstream.

"Those who will be able to conquer software will be able to conquer the world." -- Tadahiro Sekimoto, president, NEC Corp.

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