The next big thing for the kitchen could come in a small package. Gadgets tiny and "green" were among the products turning the heads of retail buyers at the International Home and Housewares Show 2008 held in Chicago in March.
When microwaves became popular in the 1980s, countless cookbooks provided recipes for baking elaborate meals in the ovens. However, people have come to rely on microwaving more for quickly reheating coffee, popping popcorn, or disinfecting sponges rather than "nuking" entire Thanksgiving turkeys.
Enter the $150 iWave Cubed, billed as the world's smallest microwave. The 600-watt appliance takes up less than a cubic square foot of space and can heat small items such as 16-ounce coffee cups.
By 2009, its inventor, Phil Davis, aims to release a tiny toaster oven and refrigerator. He said that physical therapists have expressed interest in using the device to warm up slippers and hot packs.