Will Computers Ever Become a Key Kitchen Tool?

With the holidays fast approaching, I can’t help but be paying a little more attention to what’s been going on in my kitchen, where mostly low-tech options reign.  I enjoy cooking and with that comes my very basic way of organizing recipes – in binders, sorted by category.  It’s simple and it works for me. 

I have a couple cookbooks on my Kindle and while I’m really happy with the Kindle for regular reading, it just hasn’t made its way into the kitchen as a viable way to store and access recipes.  I don’t want to get it messy during food preparation and I want to be able to move it around and view it from various places while I’m working on a meal.  A recipe card or magazine clipping in a small plastic sleeve always seems to work for me – I can tape it to a cabinet, slide it around on the counter and can wipe it off if I get greasy prints on it.  Plus, the screen saver never kicks on.

Still, the desire to bring computing to the kitchen has never been far from the minds of people who work with technology.  Starting in 1969, Honeywell introduced the first “kitchen computer”, the H316 pedestal model, offered by Nieman Marcus.

The need to take a two week programming course and the ability to be able to read the binary display was probably a few of the reasons there is no record of one ever being sold. 

Still, ideas for computing in the kitchen still rise to the surface.  Check out this article in the San Francisco Chronicle today, covering the ideas of a smart countertop, where cameras and a computer work together to identify food items and suggest recipe ideas that use the ingredients available.

Maybe this will entice my husband to don an apron and practice his knife skills.  Or not.

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