The microwave oven is an amazing boon for the diligent cook and lazy food-seeker alike.
Sure, a microwave can heat something up in almost no time, with no open flame and using very little energy, but could it be even more convenient?
The answer is yes.
Most modern microwaves contain a turntable, which allows food to be heated more evenly (Figure 1).
Unfortunately, there is a horrendous downside to this turntable: when a user puts an object in the microwave (such as a cold coffee), they tend to place it on the “near” side of the turntable (close to themselves)—but the rotation of the turntable may cause the object to end up on the far side of the turntable at the end of the elapsed microwaving time.
Now the user will have to reach all the way into the microwave to retrieve their warmed-up beverage.
This is a simple software-only fix: the turntable rotation speed should be synchronized to the total cooking time so that the turntable will have moved back to the starting position when the timer finishes.
E.g. a 40-second timer could result in a turntable speed of one rotation per 20 seconds, while a 30-second timer would require one rotation every 15 seconds.
Figure 2 illustrates the benefits of this new system.
This is the next differentiator for high-end microwaves. You saw it here first!
PROS: Makes cooking even more decadent.
CONS: Does not work if you open the microwave early.