There is a definitive trend these days toward so-called "smart kitchens." For example, you can read this former column, "MIT's Kitchen of the Future." You also can read "Tech group cooks up wired kitchen" to discover how companies like IBM or Hewlett-Packard want to "web-enable" our kitchens.
Now, a company called Tonight's Menu Intelligent Ovens (TMIO) is introducing a refrigerated microwave that can be controlled by a cell phone or over the Internet.
Here is the subtitle of this article from BBC News Online: Imagine being able to leave a meal in the fridge for the day but then send a command over the internet to cook it so that it is ready when you get home.
The company has developed a prototype microwave oven to demonstrate the technology, using what is called a Peltier cooling device and embedded web technology developed by Nasa.
Using this technology cuts the cost of internet appliances, as they do not need to have a computer built inside.
It also means the oven can be controlled over the internet or by mobile phone, allowing you to delay the cooking time, change the cooking temperature or cancel the cooking order altogether.
David Mansbery, TMIO President, got the idea for this device six years ago because his family didn't eat at regular hours.
"The oven provides you with a method of having home-cooked meals when you want," said Mr Mansbery. "You are giving people back their life, with the option to provide healthy meals."
TMIO expects to sell these ovens over Internet by the end of the year for about $2,000. Considering how long it takes to cook a meal in a microwave oven, and therefore the potential time savings, I don't really see a market here.
Please note that the TMIO website is currently under renovation.
Sources: Alfred Hermida, BBC News Online, April 6, 2003; Lisa M. Bowman, CNET News.com, March 26, 2003
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