EasiSpread Heated Butter Knife

British Inventors ProjectThe next invention from the British Inventors’ Project at the Gadget Show Live continues the culinary theme and aims to fix the eternal problem of spreading butter straight from the fridge. Introducing the EasiSpread heated butter knife.

The first implement in the EasiChef range of kitchen utensils, the EasiSpread heats the leading edge of the knife to a little under 40C, softening the butter and making it much easier to spread on bread or bagel. The knife is heated electrically and the built-in battery can be recharged in the optional EasiDock charging unit. The blade itself is detachable and dishwasher safe, and it is expected that additional implements will be available in the future, including a heated ice cream scoop. I’d buy that version – nothing worse that chiselling out ice cream at -25C when the fancy takes you!

EasiSpread

SousChef Kitchen Assistant

British Inventors ProjectThe second concept product in the British Inventors’ Project at Gadget Show Live is the SousChef from Ben Rawls. The SousChef is designed to circumvent the issues typically encountered when trying to use technology in the kitchen, mainly that it’s wet and messy. The SousChef projects information onto the kitchen work surface and uses infrared (IR) feedback to detect the owners interactions with the projected image. As there’s no direct contact, the SousChef doesn’t get wet, messy or damaged. There’s a built-in ultraviolet (UV) light that sterilises kitchen utensils as well.

SousChef

Perfect Bake with Connected Scales at CES

Perfect BakeAlthough the Internet of Things is very much of the moment, sometimes all you need is a connected device. In this case, the device being connected is a set of kitchen scales. Todd and Todd start cooking with Darin Barri and Perfect Bake Scale and App.

Targetted at cooks and bakers, Perfect Bake combines digital scales with a tablet app to make sure that the weight (or more correctly mass) is just right. Connected via the audio jack, scales can weigh in real-time, showing the quantity on the tablet screen. The app has hundreds of recipes and can walk the baker through the steps with mixing times and instructional videos. The scales come with colour-coded preparation bowls to help too and the app can adjust quantities to suit appetite.

There’s an even an oven thermometer to make sure the temperature is right, so whatever’s baked, it’s baked perfectly every single time.

The app available for both Android and Apple devices, the Perfect Bake Scale and App is available now for $69.99 from Brookstone. A Bluetooth wireless version will be available later in 2015.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Todd Aune of The Elder Divide for the TechPodcast Network.

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Maytag Oven Self-Cleans in 1 Hour

Maytag LogoIf you think CES is all geeky gadgets and gear, think again: many household names take the opportunity to show off their latest technology-driven product developments. Home appliance manufacturer Maytag talks to Courtney about their latest innovations.

Self-cleaning ovens are associated with high temperatures, long waits, clouds of smoke and bad smells as the deposits burn off. Maytag’s new self-cleaning range uses “Aqualift” technology to reduce the temperature to 200 F and the time to 1 hour. It’s a coating on the bottom and sides of the oven that works with water to lift the deposits so that they can be simply wiped away.

The Maytag’s induction hob is controlled by a touch panel which keeps the top surface smooth and easy to clean. Induction heating is efficient, highly controllable and much safer as the hob itself doesn’t heat up (though there are other disadvantages). It’s a technology that’s been around for awhile but hasn’t yet gained widespread acceptance – perhaps its time has come.

Interview by Courtney Wallin of SDR News.

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The Art Of The Sale

Since the advent of the VCR, the adage has been to look to the pornography industry to see what would happen – which formats would take off, what business models might work, etc., etc., etc. While the pornography industry did seem to be the first on the block to figure out how to make e-commerce work, do they still lead the way today when it comes to the future of video?

While there is a certain profession that perhaps lays claim to be the oldest, right up there with it is the art of the sale, and the pastime of shopping. The shopping experience itself if done well can be a pleasure.

QVC, HSN and other home shopping channels excel at making the shopping experience itself the content. They make no pretense – they are right up front with the fact that their channels are all about advertising.

Many people claim to hate ads, but I’d contend I that it’s really bad ads that most people despise. Advertising that is well done is informative and entertaining and can even be enjoyable. Watching QVC, HSN, ShopNBC, etc. product presentations (particularly electronics, gadgets and sometimes cooking) can for me easily fall into the guilty pleasure category. These people are masters at the art of the sale. Who doesn’t enjoy (or cannot learn from) watching a master ply his craft?

So how are the home shopping channels handling their all-important online presence? QVC and HSN both have iOS and Android apps that make it possible to watch their current live video streams, as well as easily search their catalogs, as well as place and track orders. The ShopNBC app is a fail in that it doesn’t allow you to watch the live video stream. I’d give the nod to QVC’s app as being the most advanced and usable overall.

iDevices Presents the iGrill Bluetooth-enabled Wireless Meat Temperature Cooking Monitor

Jonathan Conelias of iDevices, Inc. (www.idevicesinc.com) presents the iGrill Bluetooth-enabled wireless temperature probe device that is designed to synch up with an iPod, iPhone or iPad and remotely display temperatures of cooking meats. It is able to monitor two temperatures at once and runs on four “AA” batteries. The iOS application features alarms that can be set to notify the user that the desired cooking temperature has been reached. The app also includes recipes and an Internet browser. The app is currently available for Apple’s iOS devices but will be available for Google Android by the end of the first quarter of 2011. It sells for $99.99 and comes with one temperature probe. A second temperature probe can be purchased for $19.99. The probes have 48″ inch cords and can measure 40 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit inside cooking meat products.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of The Geekazine Podcast and Tom Newman of The Fogview Podcast.

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