Freescale's solid state radio frequency (RF) technology was spotlighted at its annual Freescale Technology Forum in an arena that usually doesn't see much action at technology conferences: the kitchen. The new Sage appliance concept line, whose hero product looks like an oversized coffee maker, uses RF circuits to cook food, resulting in what the company claims the highest efficiency in the industry. Solid state RF devices also need much less space than traditional microwave ovens, which means greater design flexibility.
The actual results of cooking food with RF technology has yet to be determined, however. Traditional microwaves have the uncannily ability to destroy food and, while Freescale claims that the Sage appliance delivers "higher quality cooking results" through precision cooking that won't overcook food and destroy its taste and nutritional value, that doesn't necessarily mean that the results are on par with gas ranges.
Still, Freescale's venture into the kitchen is smart from both a business and technological perspective: designers spend much more energy on lighting ranges and displays than they do on other areas of the home, which may be faulty logic, even if it's an arena in which embedded tech feels most comfortable. After all, consumers view appliances as needs and most technology as luxuries. Designers may do well to devote more innovations in the embedded sector to the kitchen if they want to translate their products from accessories to necessities.