Microwave ovens, wether free-standing or built-in, all share the same design: a rectangular box with a front door that opens to a spinning plate. Designer Kevin Choi tries has tried to challenge that status quo by envisioning a microwave oven that you can install on a wall and opens up with a helmet-like system.
When retracted, the oven is small and compact. Once open, though, the bottom plate comes down and creates a space where you can place the dish you want to cook. A touch based system in the front gives you all the control you need for the cooking, while a transparent shield lets you check on your food from above. The Wall-Mountable oven is just a concept, and will never see the light of the day as a real product. Nonetheless it’s a nice take on a device whose shape and design has basically never changed since the seventies. It’s impossible to say, though, wether such a design could withstand without changes all the security requirements and regulations that microwave oven manufacturers have to observe.
Dyson has recently announced the winner of the 2019 edition of its coveted James Dyson Award. The prize went to Lucy Hughes, a student at University of Sussex, who came up with MarinaTex, a novel kind of plastic film made from fishing waste. The translucent plastic film can be used to create home compostable plastic bags to be used in the food industry to package baked goods, fresh fruit or produce. Compared to many other kind of bioplastics, MarinaTex-based products can easily compost in 4 to 6 weeks in a food recycling bin or composter. Moreover, they don’t need high amounts of energy to be produced, as the production process involves temperatures way below 100 degrees. For MarinaTex to become a commercially viable product, more research into material performance and mass manufacturing will be needed.
Along with MarinaTex, Dyson awarded two runner-up inventions, Afflo and Gecko Traxx. Afflo is an AI-based wearable device for asthma sufferers that can detect individual symptoms with a good accuracy and match them with external triggers, a procedure that’s currently done only empirically, via trial and error. Gecko Traxx is a special set of inexpensive rubber wheels that add off-road capabilities to any wheelchair, enabling the user to access otherwise impervious areas, such as beaches and uneven terrain.
- Kevin Choi