Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The Magic Stove: Harbinger of Doom

Have you heard about the Electrolux magic stove that cooks for you? You simply drop foodstuffs onto the flat surface of the stove and the range will analyze the ingredients, suggest recipes and then prepare the selected menu item for you.  There is a video demonstration here.

Obviously, it won't work. Imagine cooking bacon...or chili...or applesauce...or pasta...rice, potatoes or cabbage...there are a great many  simple dishes that would  suddenly become problematic using this device. And do you really want to be fed by a computer?  

Literally fed?

It scares me that this Electrolux 'concept' video has been making the rounds without any mention of it's imaginary nature. What scares me even more is Electrolux's bleakly cynical rationale behind the proposed design- the product is designed for what sounds like a dismal future indeed.
Electrolux says its concept kitchen was designed for a not-too-distant world in which most people will live in cities.
 In dense conditions, living space will be at a premium. No more spacious kitchens with separate breakfast nooks and formal dining rooms. Floor space for people will have to take precedence over single purpose appliances, regardless of how well engineered they may be.
 Electrolux Senior Vice President of Design, Henrik Otto says : "The appliances of the future will need to be integrated and adjustable,we won’t have room for a whole host of products each with their own specific function."

I'm afraid that we'll run out of bread and water long before we run out of room for toasters and skillets.

This dystopian future makes me ask other questions: Will audio be compressed further, possibly to a sub-atomic level, in a quest for elbow room?

Will there be room for my guitar or will it have to double as a kitchen tool?

That's not so far-fetched, really.

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