Beanzawave – The USB-Powered Microwave



By Chris Scott Barr

I’ve discovered that having a mini fridge in my office is about as essential as having a chair. Sure, the kitchen isn’t terribly far away, but when I do get up and wander off to another room, it usually breaks my concentration. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but if I’m really trying to churn out a lot of work, I prefer to stop as little as possible. Oh, and I’m lazy.

I’ve been tempted in the past to add a microwave to the office, since it would require me to leave my desk even less. Well it looks like Heinz may have the perfect solution, the Beanzawave. It’s a USB-powered microwave that was designed to work with their own single-serving cans of Chef Boyardee foods.

There aren’t a lot of details listed, like the all-important wattage of the device. Since it’s USB-powered, I’m going to guess that it’s probably not very high, which would mean long cook times. Not to mention that Heinz is only testing the waters with this right now, if there is enough interest they might put them into production. Honestly, I’d probably just go with a full-size microwave. This thing looks like it’d be a bit small to reheat leftover pizza and such.

[ DailyMail ] VIA [ Dvice ]


  1. Don't care what the article says. There simply isn't enough wattage available from a USB port to heat anything in under a minute. On a “high-power” USB port, you'll get 500mA at 5V. That's 2.5W of usable energy. That 2.5 watt only goes so far. It's barely enough to run my USB-powered 2.5″ 350GB backup drive. Appliance-grade microwave ovens run anywhere from 700 – 1200 watts. Sorry, but you've been duped by the Daily Mail, who likely was duped by somebody else.

  2. Gonna have to agree with esthermofet here. Unless this uses some kind of magical energy-generation device, it's simply not happening. Why?

    Every microwave oven on the planet uses a a device called a “magnetron” to generate its high-frequency electromagnetic waves. I won't go into how it does this, but the important thing to note is that the great old magnetron is one of the last holdouts of vacuum tube technology in current tech. Magnetrons are big, hot, dangerous, and power-hungry beast. The whole lot of them. A USB-powered device, necessarily, can not really be any of those things.

    Now, being an engineer, I know that we can do shifty things like store all the necessary energy in a capacitor and blow it all at once into a magnetron for a quick burst of heating. However, 750ms worth of nuking isn't going to get your beans anywhere near hot, and meanwhile your microwave has turned into a molten pile of slag right there on your desk.

    If this isn't shenanigans, it's at the very least the product of a trigger-happy marketing dweeb who doesn't know anything about microwaves other than the fact that they make beans hot.

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