Courtesy of Nathan Broadbent (inventor)

Imagine taking a kitchen appliance and adding  an online database to control it from anywhere in your house.  I came across this story recently of a man who decided that simply microwaving food was not palatable for him as far as user-friendly and custom control commands, so he took the standard design and made it better. Much better! Here is the story:

Tired of keying in commands for his microwave to follow, Nathan Broadbent decided to program his so it could accept voice commands — as well as scan product barcodes to determine how long they should cook.

Broadbent is a Ruby On Rails developer in his professional life, as well as his personal life. These skills combined with the hacker’s favorite micro-computer (Raspberry Pi), was what allowed him to turn a regular microwave into something special.

A couple of the Raspberry Pi Microwave’s features include voice commands, a clock that updates itself using the Internet and even custom sound effects for those who don’t find the factory-set beep all that palatable.

The most impressive of these, however, is the barcode scanner that can pull cooking instructions from an online database, meaning you don’t even have to set the microwave half the time. What’s more impressive is the fact that there was no such database in existence, so Broadbent decided to build one of his own.

While it would have been enough to include all these custom features, Broadbent also made it possible to control the microwave using your phone.

Read the rest here.

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