Hacker Teaches Microwave to Scan Barcodes and Cook Automatically

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Hacker Teaches Microwave to Scan Barcodes and Cook Automatically


Today we wanted to share a fascinating story that illustrates one of the more unique usage scenarios for barcode scanning. Recently hacker Nathan Broadbent decided to program his microwave (which is running on a Raspberry Pi), so that it can receive voice commands, scan barcodes and even tweet when your food is ready.

To cook something in this ingenious microwave, you simply scan a product barcode and if the cooking instructions are available in the database, the microwave will automatically cook the food according to this data. Because no such database of UPC-based cooking instructions existed, Nathan decided to build one himself. If the product isn’t available in the database, you can simply add the cooking instructions on a tablet device, and then the rest of the barcode-scanning microwave community can benefit from the data.

Check out this short video Nathan put together which demonstrates the power of microwave-based barcode scanning:

You might have noticed that Nathan has hooked up an old-fashioned handheld scanner to complete the barcode scanning process. In today’s world of mobile devices, there are many more options for barcode scanning. In fact, the app Nathan is using on the tablet could have a scanner directly built-in, using innovative mobile barcode scanning technology like our own Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK. To get a sense of the experience of scanning barcodes with Scandit through a mobile device check our video: