Bryan O'Malley
“…and if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.”

Why Doesn't This Exist: A Smart Microwave

Microwave ovens are both extremely convenient, and terrible at cooking food. Why?

My family got our first microwave oven somewhere around 1980. It was huge, loud, and did a fairly poor job of cooking just about everything. 37 years later, not much has changed. The new models are a bit smaller, slightly quieter, and still miserable at cooking anything but popcorn.

In 2017, we can do better, and four key innovations can help.

First, let's get rid of 2 dozens buttons and take advantage of modern voice recognition.

"Microwave, warm my tea.", or "Microwave, cook my dinner."

Second, a modern microwave needs to be a whole lot smarter. I have no idea what temperature my pork chop should be. Fortunately, an internet connected oven will.

But how will it know what I want to cook? Now that it's got an internet connection, let's use some machine learning to recognize the food automatically. If Apple can identify trees and puppies in the photos I take on my iPhone, surely my smart microwave can identify a pork chop. Right?

Which brings us to the final, fatal flaw of all microwaves. The food either comes out raw on the inside, or rock hard on the outside. But not in the smart microwave. It has an infrared food thermometer to automatically check the temperature of the inside of the food to know exactly when it's done.

Now that is a microwave worthy of the 21st century!

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