What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

How Many Of Your Microwave's Buttons Do You Really Use?

July 16, 2013, 9:00 AM
Shutterstock_113352049

What's the Latest Development?

By combining a standard microwave with an Arduino Nano microcontroller, a Raspberry Pi microcomputer, and other hardware, developer Nathan Broadbent was able to create a customized appliance that requires almost no tactile input to work. His "Raspberry Picrowave" can, among other things, accept commands via the owner's voice or through a browser or mobile app, and even produce sound effects that go beyond the typical microwave beep. However, one of its most impressive skills is the ability to cook a product using instructions collected from a scan of the product's barcode and located in an online database that Broadbent built himself. A video demonstration even shows how products can be added to the database.

What's the Big Idea?

Writer Sebastian Anthony notes that microwave interfaces have always been confusing, and cites his own home appliance as an example: "My microwave has more than 30 buttons, and yet once I (eventually) found the 'immediately start cooking for one minute' button, it's the only one I use." The hacking process is certainly elaborate, but aspiring DIYers can visit Broadbent's site to get open-source schematics and software.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at ExtremeTech

 

How Many Of Your Microwave'...

Newsletter: Share: