Conventional microwaves are some of the biggest energy hogs in the house, using 750 to 1,100 watts of power when in use–more than both refrigerators (725 watts) and washing machines (350 to 500 watts). But the Heinz Beanzawave, billed as world’s smallest microwave, could cut the energy necessary to warm up small items like cups of soup and tea.
The Beanzawave, which measures just 7.4 inches tall by 6.2 inches wide and 5.9 inches deep, doesn’t even need to be plugged into an electrical outlet. The device contains a USB port, so mid-afternoon snacks can be heated up at the computer without expending excess power. In the future, Heinz might experiment with lithium ion batteries–making the Beanzawave ideal for camping trips. Heinz claims that snacks can be warmed in under a minute thanks to intense heating action from a combination of cell phone and radio frequencies.
The mini microwave is being developed as a partner to Heinz Snap Pots, baked beans in single-serving containers. The Snap Pots, available in the U.K., fit perfectly into the Beanzawave. But the $160 device will only be released commercially if consumer feedback is positive and if component prices drop in the near future. At its current price, the Beanzawave isn’t much cheaper than a conventional microwave.