Ryan's wife had a dream: a kitchen computer integrated into the kitchen to manage her recipes, keep tabs with her shopping and to-do lists, and also provide internet access so she could hit up her favourite cooking sites (hopefully including The Kitchn). Ryan being the good husband and tech-minded DIYer set to make her dream come true, creating his own touchscreen computer inspired by the iPhone for all these duties and more.
Ryan listed his wife's requirements for the kitchen device as such:
- must be discrete [sic] and look like a digital picture frame when not being used.
- must be touchscreen.
- must have internet access.
- must be easy to use and not crash often (she's used to Windows Vista)
- must have barcode scanner for managing her kitchen database.
- the wires and techo stuff must be hidden and out of sight.
- should be able to view what's on the lounge TV in the kitchen.
Components include a 19" 4:3 aspect open frame touchscreen monitor (take that iPad!), Gigabyte H55M-UD2H Intel P55 Motherboard, 4GB DDR3 Memory Modules, Intel Core i5 650 3.20GHz Processor, Western Digital 800GB 32MB SATA II Caviar Green Hard Drive Windows 7 Professional (the most expensive part here), Coolermaster Elite 333 Mid Tower Case, with the OS handled by Windows 7 Professional, installing and hiding away all these components into a hole in the wall of their kitchen for a flush finish.
The impressive part besides the whole installation was Ryan used Microsoft's Active Desktop to emulate the iPhone interface (his wife's request), utilizing the Comfort On Screen Keyboard Pro program for input UI, alongside integrating a slew of useful features such as Twitter, Skype, iTunes, Kitchen Database barcode scanner, and a cooking timer. The project is an amazing example of DIY ingenuity that shames most off the shelf consumer kitchen tech items, and perhaps gives insight how the iPad will find itself being used by home cooks in the near future.
Check out many more photos, details and instructions about Ryan's DIY Kitchen Touchscreen Computer at The iPhone Inspired DIY Kitchen Touch Screen Project.