Even still, we’re not quite sure it was necessary to go this far: Japanese consumer electronics maker Panasonic announced on March 15 that it has developed the world’s first smartphone integrated rice cooker.
Is that not just the most Japanese invention you’ve ever heard of?
Due out this June, the Panasonic SR-SX2 Series IH Jar Rice Cooker boasts a number of fancy features typical of high-end rice cookers, such as “200℃ Steaming,” “Great Thermal Dancing Boil” and “Diamond Furnace” (don’t ask us what they mean, we only know they make your rice taste amazing).
However, it is with a Felica-supported Android phone that the true power of the SR-SX2 is unleashed. By downloading a special application, owners can control the various settings of their SR-SX2 such as rice type and timer just by touching their phone to the blue icon on the top of the cooker.
Moreover, users can also connect their Andorid to Pansonic’s recipe-sharing cloud server and download cooking instructions to use with the SR-SX2. A total of 6 instructions can be saved directly to the rice cooker for later use and users may store up to 100 of their own recipes on the cloud server.
Panasonic has not yet announced pricing for the SR-SX2, but seeing as how the previous model SR-SX101 launched at 89,800 yen (US $1075), we imagine it will be awhile before it falls within the average smartphone user’s budget.
Interestingly enough, reaction by Japanese net users to the announcement has been overwhelmingly negative, met with comments like “Japanese consumer electronics makers have lost it” and “no wonder Panasonic has a $10.2 billion deficit…”
Indeed, this is Galapagos Syndrome at its best, and we can’t imagine there even being much of a domestic market for a smart-rice cooker. Certainly there are better avenues for smartphone integration technology? We know we’d be down for a smart-toilet…
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