When Ryan decided to meet his wife's request to install a computer in the kitchen, he went all out to create a custom touch screen system that continues to grow with their family. This wonderful DIY device is connected to the internet access, acts as a digital picture frame when not otherwise in use, includes a barcode scanner for grocery list creation, acts as a TV, and so much more.
Though Ryan's technical prowess may put this project beyond the reach of many, it is a great example of how a little creativity and a little more know-how can help bring any kitchen into the 21st century. Though watching TV in the kitchen may not be a priority for all, using the barcode scanner to add items to the shopping list as they are used is pure genius. Perhaps in a few short years, every kitchen will have a system like Ryan's; for now, this custom build might be just what you are looking to add to your kitchen renovation.
Here are all the "app" options available with Ryan's setup:
- Kitchen Database (uses barcode scanner to manage our shopping)
- To Do List (simple RSS based to do list)
- Google (opens a browser to Google search)
- Email (Microsoft Outlook, but its not really that suitable for touch screen)
- Weather (opens weatherview32 for our local weather station)
- Slideshow (activates windows slideshow of our digital camera)
- Cooking Timer (runs kitchen timer)
- Calendar (initiates outlook calendar)
- Tweet Adder (amazing twitter marketing software, try it!) download link
- Twitter (opens Twitter)
- Scoreboard (HTML page showing followers on our twitter accounts)
- Watch TV (runs up the USB TV tuner taking a feed from the lounge)
- Calculator (windows calculator)
- Google Maps (opens a browser and displays Google maps)
- Skype (opens Skype for talking to my mum)
- iTunes (Apple iTunes with airport express connected)
- Shutdown PC (runs a shutdown script)
- File Explorer (opens Windows file explorer)
- Trade Me (opens Trademe in a browser, similar to eBay)
- Settings (another HTML page with various links to settings)
Ryan has more photos and detailed instructions posted over at the Studio Lights blog; he has even answered questions from readers looking to build a similar system, and made some adjustments to his own based in reader input.