What is a Smart Microwave?
A smart microwave, like many Wi-Fi based devices, is a device that can be controlled remotely. Usually when connected to a Wi-Fi network or hub which can connect externally.
Smart Microwaves usually have a barcode scanner which allows you to simply scan your meal and chuck it in whilst it uses its online database of information to cook your meal exactly as you need it! Making the microwave cooking experience even lazier.
Want to control your Smart Microwave with your voice? No problem, your Virtual Assistant can control this directly in most cases and if not, a hub should help!
So, what can a Smart Microwave actually do?
For most of us, a Smart Microwave lets you just reheat food. It was a huge deal back in the day, but now it’s the norm. With a new wave of Smart Kitchen Appliances, Smart Microwaves are extremely versatile, allowing much better cooking options and uses.
Whilst I am yet to see one that plays music in the kitchen, the Wi-Fi connectivity for recipes and voice control should not be looked down on. Some of these newer Smart Microwaves offer the ability to sense the moisture of a specific product meaning you can stop it from drying out straight from your Smart Phone.
Common Features of a Smart Microwave
- LED touchscreen interfaces and menu selection. On some devices, you’ll notice much like the Smart Ovens seen at CES that you can control the cooking time and presets without the use of buttons. Simply touch the screen and be on your way!
- Monitor and watch your food whilst you’re not in your kitchen, this is perfect for a movie night when you’ve put a bag of popcorn in the microwave but don’t want to get up just to find it’s not ready.
- Have Pre-set cooking schedules that allow you to put your favourite dishes in with customised settings so you get it right every time. Like your Microwave lasagna extra blitzed? It’ll get it right every time.
- View recipes and videos directly on the screen of the Microwave. This will also breakdown each step if you have the right app installed.
- Scan the barcode of your meal which will show exactly what needs doing and what other things can be done to make the meal better.
- Put something in your microwave for later and simply ask Alexa to cook it when you’re ready. Or even better, defrost something, cook it and then use the convection technology to crisp / brown the meal without even being near the microwave.
- Recieve alerts on your Smart Devices when your food is ready to be eaten
- Specify the dish rotation and even out the heat across all of your meal, perfect for avoiding a dry meal. Alternatively, disable the turntable which is great for roasting a chicken!
- Track your cooking times and routines, perfect for fitness apps or simply watching when you eat.
- Most of these Microwaves have a Power-saving mode which allows you to save on electricity bills. Perfect for times when you’re not at home (Based off your routine), this is proof Smart Homes save you money.
Doesn’t a Microwave interfere with WiFi though?
This is simply due to old technology, Microwaves often leak small amounts of Microwave radiation. This leakage usually interferes with WiFi signals on a 2.4GHz frequency.
Whilst most Smart Microwaves are on a 2.4GHz frequency, you can set this up on a 5GHz frequency if you so wish. However, you shouldn’t have any issues with this impacting Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
If my Microwave is on the Wi-Fi, can it be hacked?
By technicality, yes, all Smart Home technology unless it’s locked behind asecure network can be hacked. If your WiFi connection is public or using an insecure password, you’re 100% open to have someone turning your Microwave on and off.
Smart Home Security is a big deal, but it doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Don’t let the media scare you into thinking your Smart Home is going to show you walking around naked to the world. Just be smart and you won’t have any issues!
Follow good security practices for your home network and make sure that your devices are constantly kept up to date to avoid any potential backdoors or exploits.
How much do Smart Microwaves cost?
You’re looking at a Microwave costing anywhere from $150 onwards to $1500, which may seem expensive for a simple microwave that connects to the internet. However, as this is pretty new technology on the market, the price is bound to be inflated.
You should bare in mind that a standard Microwave can start at a cost of $50 / £35. Most Smart Microwaves do come with other features like Air Frying and toasting, so there are perks to having this new technology so early on.
You could in theory look to make your own Smart Microwave with an arduino etc, but personally, I feel like the cost of those components and the time it takes to put together onto an already made Microwave may not work out as cost efficient.
Try having a look at the E 0.9 Cu. Ft. It might be just what you need, however, I have not tested this myself.
Upon research, that GE appliances brand seems pretty popular for this new technology, so definitely do check it out. However, I will be holding off until the market has stabalised a bit more.
Should I get a Smart Microwave or a Dumb Microwave?
It’s worth noting that a normal ‘dumb’ Microwave typically isn’t worth repairing, as such, you would be creating more waste for the planet. So if that is someting you’re concious of, then a Smart Microwave is going to be right up your street.
The newer Smart alternative gives you multiple options to cook, low energy waste (If any at all) and in the long run will probably last longer.
If you can hold your excitement, wait and look into other devices, otherwise check out the GE appliances as they may fit your needs!
If you can wait, don’t rush out to get one. It really isn’t that useful as of yet to spend a stupid amount of money on. Look into Smart Ovens or Smart Fridges which provide a lot more usage.
If you want to make something with various of extra features, just grab yourself a small tablet with a voice assistant and mount it near your microwave to show you how to bring up recipes etc.
Got any feedback or questions? Let me know in the comments!