Good Design in a Boring Appliance

I’m impressed enough with a rice cooker that I’m writing about it. Yes, I think that’s weird, even for me. Rice cookers are boring, right? That’s what I thought when I ordered one last month.

When I pulled the thing out of the box I was impressed with how pretty it was.

Then I was confused. The clock on the display showed the current time, but the cooker wasn’t plugged in and I hadn’t touched any buttons. It took me a second to realize: Not only did the manufacturer put a backup battery in this thing, they set the clock to the correct time zone before shipping it.

How clever is that?

Many bits of this machine are clever. The bowl is marked with measurements for the correct amount of water for various amounts and types of rice. It has a cord that retracts inside.

My favorite detail is the sound it makes. When you set a timer, it plays Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. When the rice is done, it plays some happy song I don’t recognize.

Oh, a quick update on my life: I got laid off from my job at Ask. I had been interviewing at other places, and I turned down Youtube to work at Cloudkick. Once I find a suitable apartment, I’ll move to San Francisco.



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