back to article Who will win the epic battle for the kitchen OS?

Like to sing along to something as you cook dinner? Know this - the humble kitchen radio is about to be obliterated by the mighty Media Phone, with embedded specialist Arc bidding to become its default platform. While the OS platforms for mobile phones and small cheap computers are the subject of fierce debate, the choice of …


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  1. Mike Tahylor

    somebody forgot to tell jobs...

    "Arc's platform is based on its own chips, its own OS and its own stack - the kind of proprietary solution that used to be so popular but now risks finding itself standing alone in the kitchen at the end of the party, at best."

    Like, for example, Apple??

  2. Ray
    Thumb Up


    The kitchen set-up of choice is a Javastation and NetBSD. Well, it is in MY house!

  3. Ray

    Oh, also...

    Crrsssshhhboom. Nuff said.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Meh...'s been done before. I reckon honeywell were spot on with their version

    all that was required was the ability to read recipes in binary and that's your meal done!

  5. Daniel Pimley

    Gates the prophet

    "Let us not forget that a long time ago Bill Gates reckoned the kitchen would be the natural environment for the PC."

    Oh, then it must be true.

  6. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Another useless footnote in tech history!

    I have lost count of the number of these useless comms gadgets that seem to come up every once in a while!

    Most people go into the kitchen for two things, food and/or drink. That's it! For most people I know, it's a functional place, you go in, you get stuff done ( boiling kettle, checking oven/toaster, sitting in at dining table for meal, etc) , then you go somewhere more comfortable!

  7. Steven Hunter

    @Mike Tahylor

    "Like, for example, Apple??"

    Only not at all?

    Intel makes the chips, OSX is based on BSD, and they use open-standards protocols and files all over the place.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    I'm not actually sure this is a good idea. Computers anywhere are a potential place for an AI to either communicate from or even live in.

    Last thing I want is my toaster talking to me first thing in the morning. It's bad enough that real people try to talk to me before the coffee has happened.

    Mine's the one with a 14lb lump hammer and NO SMEGGING WAFFLES in the pocket.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Errm super virus from a certain genre of game anyone?

  11. John Armstrong-Millar

    It's the Hardware stupid

    It really makes me smile when this subject comes up. For a media Phone or what ever you want to call it. Hey we have all seen them in every SF movie. One enormous snag, that until it is addressed video phones will just be cute plaything with no practical value. What am I talking about? Eye contact!, without "meaningful" human eye contact, conversation simple doesn't work. Sort the hardware out whereby you can look into the eyes of the caller and really the software doesn't matter that much..

  12. James Yeomans


    Isn't that 'Joggler'? Yes, it's a stupid name, but at least get it right!

    And for my two pennies worth - Android has to be the OS of choice because "There's an app for that" and it's FREE! (sorry Apple!)

  13. Andrew
    Thumb Down

    Wait, what?

    A phone? That's it? This doesn't further my pursuit of pie in any manner, no sir, not one bit. Mine's the one with an old Powerbook G4... for the kitchen.

  14. NogginTheNog


    Aren't these things just everything a modern top-spec moby is (or can be), just with a bigger screen and a mains plug?

    So apart from the form factor what's innovative here? And why not simply make some kind of dock/cradle for an existing (Windows OS?) phone which can then provide the 'brains' behind the unit, but driving a bigger display (think laptop and docking station)?

  15. WhatWasThat?


    Apple struggled with its own "hardware" stack for its core business - Macintosh Personal Computers (remember those?).

    But then it found the futility and went with Intel boxes, albeit narrowly spec'ed.

    iPhone? Its apps are DHTML-based, after all - so standards abound.

  16. jake Silver badge

    Not useful, at least for this household.

    I had an aging (1985) Wyse 30 hard-wired to a serial port on the server that archives my recipe database (amongst other stuff; bash, Lynx, email, Usenet, etc.). It was mounted into a cupboard in my kitchen ... It was functional, but we almost never used it. We reclaimed the space for food a couple months ago ... When we are cooking we are cooking, not playing with a computer. I can't remember the last time I looked at a recipe.

  17. Neil
    Paris Hilton

    You're fired

    This won't knock the Amstrad Em@iler of the phone throne, it doesn't even run Spectrum games.

    Paris, because I'd be her apprentice.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @Mike Tahylor

    Apple now use Intel chips, and have done for a few years... it's standard hardware these days!!!

  19. Storm Cloud
    IT Angle

    I'm planning the next, next battleground

    I'm already working on the toilet pad, which will display:

    * a selection of ebooks, including basic plumbing techniques

    * carefully selected toilet humour

    * a flashing message that says "NOW WASH YOUR HANDS!"

    IT icon because I reckon I could make SH{icon} loads

  20. Aidan Samuel

    It's the "O2 Joggler"...

    ..not "Jogger"

  21. Pierre


    Surely the battle was won a long, long time ago by the Honeywell H316? Or was it the battle for the most ridiculous electronic consumer product?

  22. Lars Silver badge

    Hardly their own OS

    "Operating systems and related system-level software provide control and task management functions while speeding SoC development and system bring-up. In addition to ARC’s MQX® RTOS and Linux implementations, ARC’s customers have access to a number of real time operating systems and software designed specifically for price-sensitive embedded applications. These solutions are offered by ARC partners such as:"

    And nothing wrong with that.

  23. Martin Silver badge

    A little behind the times?

    So this is aimed at early adopters who really must have a computer in their kitchen - but still have a landline phone at home? why not just build it into a gramophone?

  24. Charles Manning

    It depends on what you want to do with it

    If the main purpose is just a radio/videophone + widgets, then it doesn't need a fat-ass OS like Windows, WindowsCE or Linux. All it needs is a small RTOS (eCOS or similar).

    If however people are expecting to browse the web (recipes etc) then it is going to need more capable hardware and software.

    Most people with money to splurge of one of these likely already has web access on one or more other devices in the house (PCs, phones, TV...), so the need to do www in the kitchen is likely a bit contrived.

  25. A

    A cooler alternative

    Now we have eInk why not just make it the biscuit tin?

  26. James
    Thumb Down

    I can't believe no one has suggested it yet:

    All you need is a pen. []

    A blank recipe book/lined paper

    And a note pad []

    And if you want to make a calls a landline.

    Try to beat the above tried and tested (probably for hundreds of years -the phone) method for speed and efficiency. And happiness when it doesn't break or there is a power cut.

    And for a modern day twist add a laptop. You can take it with you to the sitting room then or anywhere.

  27. Goat Jam
    Thumb Down

    Actually, I'd love something like this

    "Like" being the active word there.

    I'd love a small, splash resistant workstation in the kitchen. But it would have to be hackable and based on an open source OS. I don't care about the video phone crap but being able to browse the net, read recipes as well as stream video and music would be great. Other people would get value from feeding the video stream from their security system or front door buzzer to it and no doubt other people would come up with even other ways to utilise the hardware I'm sure.

    The problem is that all the numptys that try and make these sorts of things try to lock it down tighter than Ft Knox and wreck what might be reasonable hardware with crappy, proprietary closed source software.

  28. P. Lee
    Paris Hilton

    re: I can't believe no one has suggested it yet:

    Hear! Hear!

    I'd add "wireless telephone headset" for talking while cooking. Computers and greasy hands are not a good combination. Store the recipes on your computer and print them out for the kitchen.

  29. Tim Walker

    When I want a computer in the kitchen...

    ...I plug my N95 into the portable telly, get out the Bluetooth keyboard, and I've already got myself a "docking station"-type setup right there.

    Only problem is (ironically enough), it's not that easy to make a phone call when everything's plugged in...

    'Cos that's all rather geeky... mine's the one with the protected pocket :-)

  30. Gerry

    AJAX? In the kitchen?

    What, this?

  31. Les Matthew

    Re: AJAX? In the kitchen?

    You just had to scour the net for that one.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Surely the kitchen platform of choice is "Talkie Toaster", it doesn't matter which OS it runs, it's going to piss you off just the same

    You you like toast with that?

    How about a muffin?

    What about a nice toasted crumpet?



  33. regadpellagru
    Thumb Down

    Not happening

    "Let us not forget that a long time ago Bill Gates reckoned the kitchen would be the natural environment for the PC."

    Ah yes, but only someone with the head buried that much into his rectum like Gates would ever say that, those days.

    People are asking kitchen appliances to be as cheap as possible and work flawlessly for as many decades as possible without any defect. Given that, who, even the most ubergeek of us would buy any model stating "Vista compatible", or even with anything close to a computer inside ? Prices would be inflated and there would be costly maintenance each 2 years minimum, for what service ? Knowing better than you what milk or what butter to purchase ?

    MS has already taught everyone to be very suspicious about technology working for its interest rather than the user, so I don't think we'll see home appliances with an OS prior to MS disappearance from the fact of earth.

    Even car manufacturers are backtracking on that ...

  34. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Actually, I'd love something like this

    Panasonic Toughbook. Take a look on eBay for any old model, most have led a very comfy life in the backseat of an estate agent's or civil engineer's car and never had need to prove their ability to be dropped from height, kicked into a pond, heated by a fire and STILL work just fine. Just fine for browsing, recipes, playing DVDs and usually with wifi built in if you want to stream instead.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    @Steven Hunter

    Search google for Xnu. Read results. Come back and post what you find. Here's a head start.

    You'll find that OS X is as much "based" on BSD as Windows is VMS. Still, the "Apple copies *everything*" rhetoric works for most of the Wintards out there...

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    can't believe you all missed

    The potential for doing your shopping, while you have direct access in the same room to all the cupboards and their contents. You could even have software designed so you can have a list of what you have, and knock stuff off as you use them. For some people, especially those who for various reasons find it hard to organise themselves with their shopping, this could be ideal. Doubly so if it could somehow be made to let you order without messing around on the supermarket web sites, just run down a list of foods you added sort of like favourites and select what you want and how many.

    Of course they'll probably screw it up... Nothing new there.

  37. the spectacularly refined chap

    How come no-one's mentioned

    the various NetBSD toasters?

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