Feeds

Just what the world needs: Android in the rice cooker

Things you can’t make up

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Less than a fortnight into 2013, we have a candidate for the year’s silliest product: a networked, Android-sporting rice cooker.

Readers will remember some chilling demonstrations during 2012: the vulnerability of pacemakers to outside attack, for example (insulin pumps were already compromised in 2011), while McAfee (the company, not the nominative fugitive) maintained its long campaign to try and anticipate attacks against systems in cars.

And they’ll remember 2012 for a procession of Android bugs and vulnerabilities (including this and this).

However: with CES on the go, appliance makers pursue their belief that the world’s Jetsons-like future is best reached by turning formerly harmless devices into Android monsters – as noted in this Bloomberg BusinessWeek piece, all the way down to the rice cooker.

“Panasonic’s Android-controlled SR-SX2 rice cooker lets users search for recipes on their Android phones and then transmit them to the cooker. It also provides information such as how much electricity it has used,” the article notes.

Now, keep in mind that this is a rice cooker: one of the simplest appliances possible, since its entire function is to apply heat to a pot containing rice and water (with whatever additives the owner wants to try) for a given amount of time. With the addition of sensors and “fuzzy logic”, even premium kitchen gadget brand Cuisinart charged just $US150 for the sadly discontinued Rice Plus™ Multi-Cooker with Fuzzy Logic Technology.

With Android added, Panasonic is asking $US600 for its extravaganza.

It’s the cognitive dissonance, however, that I find most difficult to reconcile. The world knows that software is attackable – Android is not unique here – and we know that the will and desire exist to find and exploit vulnerabilities.

And a rice-cooker is a product designed to operate a heating element, unattended.

What could possibly go wrong? ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.