I know two things to be true. The uWave — a microwave oven that plays videos and has it's own Twitter account — is a completely non-essential purchase. I also know that as soon as it actually hits shelves I will be the first to buy one.
As I'm sure many of you can claim, I have the attention span of a small animal. So, faced with the interminable three- to six-minute wait until my Hot Pocket is done, I become agitated. I can worry no more! The uWave has been programmed to serve up videos exactly as long as the cooking time. Viral classics like dogs driving their owner crazy, or blind kittens gamely playing with a ball are sure to keep me riveted while waiting for my food.
Even better? If I find I can't disengage from my smartphone during the complex process of microwaving dinner, the uWave will text or tweet me when my food is done. I'm nothing if not appreciative of an appliance that is efficient with my time.
This gem of modern cookware is essentially an HP TouchPad connected to a microwave. Developers Kevin Conley, Varun Sampath, Benjamin Shyong, and Teddy Zhang submitted their project to PennApps, a bi-annual hackathon held by the University of Pennsylvania, and won first place.
I can see why they won, and frankly I think they are being modest about the power of their invention. The uWave guys have forgotten to mention the other important function of their microwave: making me more productive at work by eliminating my need to watch cute animal videos.