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08. 28. 2006

A microwave beyond the ordinary


This is the era of intelligent gadgets – those that not only feed the couch potato culture, but also take away your cerebral exercise with panache. The simplest personal example is how I have become utterly dependent on my cell phone to call even my closest friends or family. All because I really don’t have any of their numbers in my own (natural) memory like I did a years ago when cell phones were inaccessible to the masses. So I always have to guard my cell phone to help me remain connected.

So what’s the relevance here? The new Beyond Microwave Oven which claims to determine exact cooking times by automatically scanning the barcodes on food packaging, set me thinking. Each food item that you wish to heat up is compared with the 4,000 pre-programmed barcodes within the microwave, and the cooking time for the item is determined. Provided the food is still within its packaging as the microwave’s barcode reader scans the UPC code on the labeling of the package. For non-packaged food, or for packaged food that does not fall within the pre-programmed codes, you will have to program the cooking times in yourself. Which means, once you get dependent on the automatic cooking time concept, you definitely will not be able to use an ordinary microwave oven again. And there you have my cell phone analogy.

Well, I am not so sure about this one. For starters, my guess is that it is useful only for people who do not like to experiment with their cooking. And moreover, the barcode scanning is completely useless when it comes to heating leftovers. Or for an exotic dish that you want to try out over the weekend. If you would still like to check it out, the Beyond Microwave Oven is available from Smarthome for $149.99.

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices | home
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Comments (1)


We have one like this. I got it from Target last year on clearance for $35.00 because the models weren't selling.
It works as a microwave, but I have the worst luck with the barcode wand. My boyfriend can scan successfully a little more often, but it's patchy. The entire bottom third of our number pad doesn't work anymore and I'll probably be replacing it with a better, less tech saavy one.
The thing that was weird to me was that the scanner doesn't necessarily scan things like Campbells, Lean Cuisine or other national brands very well, which I thought would be the norm.

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