Freescale has cooked up a connected appliance proof-of-concept that it says could be the Nespresso of convenience meals. Dubbed Sage, the solid-state RF oven promises the ease of use of a microwave but producing food that’s actually worth eating rather than a rubbery mess, thanks to its ability to precisely control where, when, and how much heating energy gets directed at the ingredients. The result is a single oven that can simultaneously cook multiple different meals, all in different ways.
Microwaves emit radiation inside the oven chamber but in fixed waves; the rotating turntable ensures that most parts of the meal get an equal treatment. However it’s not possible to target them any more specifically, unlike Freescale’s oven.
In fact, not only can the RF energy be targeted – something which, Freescale claims, will reduce overcooking, prevent unnecessary loss of nutrients, keep food moist, and avoid needless wastage of energy – the oven also allows for a range of different cooking styles.
By adding in a convection heating element, Sage adds searing, browning, baking, and even poaching to its abilities.
Although keen chefs could probably find plenty to do with the technology, Freescale envisages it being even more relevant to a new age of on-demand meal delivery.
For instance, the company suggests, the time-short could order packaged meals from restaurants and farm-to-table co-ops, with every part cooked slightly differently but all being ready at the same time.
As for the Internet of Things, that might be as straightforward as downloading recipes or new cooking styles directly to the oven, or alternatively allow meal vendors to push content and deals directly to its display. Freescale has even made sure the narrow-band RF system used won’t interfere with WiFi or Bluetooth.
Freescale isn’t going to produce Sage itself, but is instead offering the technology to curious third-parties just as it does with its wireless chips and processors. Whether someone will pick it up remains to be seen, though the promise of fast food without the microwave mediocrity actually sounds fairly appealing.