For one reason or another, some people refuse to learn even the most basic culinary skills, resigning themselves to a life of burnt toast, artery-clogging takeaways and regular bouts of salmonella. Now, Whirlpool has created a solution that means even biggest kitchen dummy has no excuse for fluffing their next meal.
The manufacturer of kitchen appliances has created a new smartphone app called Scan-to-Cook, which lets users scan in the barcode of pre-packaged ready meals and have the precise cooking instructions sent straight to the oven or microwave. This means even the responsibility for setting the right temperature and timing the cooking time is taken out of the diner's hands.
According to CNet, Scan-to-Cook is also capable of dealing with split cooking times: for example, if you need to let a ready meal sit for a minute halfway through cooking, the appliance will automatically pause and then resume cooking according to the instructions. It appears as though the feature will only work with "compatible" ready meals, which currently includes Diorno Pizza, Marie Callender's pot pies and Alexia frozen fries but is expected to expand to more brands.
Scan-to-Cook is available on Android and iOS mobile devices and will be compatible with Whirlpool's 2017 line of internet-enabled cooking appliances, which includes two new hobs, an oven and a microwave. The line is only available in the US for the time being, carrying a hefty price tag ranging from $1,000 to $2,600 (£820 to £2140).
While the technology itself is intuitive, it is somewhat depressing to think that people would drop $1,000 or more on a cooking appliance just to cut out 10 seconds of reading and number-pressing. If it took care of buying the food and washing up then we might be sold on the idea.