Is it just me, or does it seem like technology is taking over as master of the house? Technological advances like the ones you see on this blog are making cooking, eating, and entertaining easier and more convenient, but in the case of some inventions, like the KitchenAttendant, we're no longer faced with the responsibility of thinking about what we should eat. Remember the Intelliscanner Kitchen Companion
remote, a handheld scanner that keeps track of your pantry and helps you print out grocery lists? Meet a device that puts the runt remote to shame. The KitchenAttendant is a countertop computer kiosk that was developed as an inventory-tracking device and cooking aid and has so many culinary bells and whistles that it will make you feel as if your job as meal-maker has become obsolete. The touch-screen device fits on top of your kitchen counter and has revolutionized food tracking by being the first system that links together your kitchen inventory to both actual stores and health management information. This means that in addition to tracking the items in your cupboards with a bar-code scanner similar to the Intelliscanner, it also sends recipes, coupons, shows you video demonstrations of recipes, and tells you what items you still need in order to make dinner. According to KitchenAttendant LLC, the system's installation and hardware costs should be covered by supermarket companies, while the consumer will have to pay a small monthly fee (about $16.00). By connecting directly with supermarkets, the system can display what you bought as soon as you get back from the store, as well as display a list of possible recipes that you can make with your current inventory and then transfer "used" items that you've scanned out onto the next grocery list.
Also, let's say that you made a casserole for your family and you ended up throwing half of the recipe away. Next time you make it, the KitchenAttendant will suggest a half-sized recipe for casserole and do the calculations for you (it's not hard to imagine the collective cries of protests about this coming from middle-school math teachers).
The countertop computer can also be used as a health management tool: it can warn you if one of the members of your family is allergic to an item in your pantry and will display recipes accordingly, and can also make recipe suggestions if you have strict weight loss or dietary needs (for example, if you're diabetic).
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