Young Software Engineer Hacks Microwave

Microwave Hack, flying car, LG, microwave, Nokia, Raspberry Pi, Samsung, smart appliances, The Jetsons, Whirlpool

Growing up, “The Jetsons” was one of my favorite cartoons, maybe it was because it gave us a peek of some of the smart appliances we might have in the future. Everything from flying cars, to appliances that could react based on simple commands you provide. Well maybe these things are not so far away.

Nokia recently unveiled a nifty “smart” microwave with a touchscreen and…eye-tracking technology? That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t address the basic problems of most microwaves, such as the fact that so many foods require several stages of cooking, cooling, and sitting. Not to mention, few—if any—offer voice command or mobile control.

Nathan Broadbent, a young software engineer from New Zealand who recently took this matter upon himself. Nathan was inspired by a Reddit post fittingly titled, “Food items should have QR codes that instruct the microwave exactly what to do…”

So, Nathan used a single-board computer called Raspberry Pi to develop a program that interacts with his home microwave, and which can be controlled remotely. Here are some of the features of Nathan’s brilliant home-mod microwave:

• Internet-synced clock
• Voice command control
• Barcode scanner for looking up cooking instructions from online database, which Broadbent created himself
• Mobile app phone for setting up cooking instructions for specific products
• Tweets after the timer is up

As for Samsung, Whirlpool, LG, and all the other big microwave manufacturers, what gives? You should’ve come up with this product years ago. Hire this man.

Check out Broadbent’s extensive blog post for a complete rundown of how he did it, and instructions for how you can do it—some technical skills required.

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