Food | Technology

Weekly Innovation: A Sad Desk Microwave For Your Sad Desk Lunch

NPR | Sept. 2, 2014 8:43 a.m.

Contributed By:

Elise Hu

Too busy to walk all the way to the kitchen to heat up a meal? The prototype for the BrainWave desktop microwave is the answer. It’s exactly what it sounds like: A phonebook-sized microwave to heat up your frozen lunch, at your desk.

The BrainWave is controlled through a computer program and connects through a USB port, and if you have a specially packaged meal, an RFID-tagged plastic spoon will let you scan the box and send the meal information to the microwave. This will automatically set the heating time. Oh, and the BrainWave can be stored in an upright position, so it can function as a whiteboard when not zapping Lean Cuisines.

Like we mentioned, this is only a prototype that UK-based designer Steve Gates came up with in order to graduate, a few years before Kickstarter. So we were curious what happened with the BrainWave and whether it still might help it become a reality.

“It would have taken a large investment to have these parts custom produced at a smaller size which wasn’t feasible or economical at the time,” Gates said by email, to NPR. But, he hasn’t lost hope. “I’ve had a lot of interest in the product and should the right circumstances arise, yes I would certainly consider [manufacturing] this.”

If it does get widely made, it would be the perfect gift for anyone in your life who enjoys sodium-packed meals without any physical exertion. [Read: me.]

And Gates is still coming up with more enhancements. He says he can imagine a portable version of the BrainWave, too. “Just imagine warming up your toasted sandwich on the tube or bus on your way to work. So it’s all ready by the time you’re at your desk,” he says.

A girl can dream.

This post is part of our Weekly Innovation series, in which we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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