Recently, I had the opportunity to re-imagine the microwave as if I was the Product Manager for Nest:

  • unlimited budget
  • provide rationale for my design and explain features

I really enjoyed the process and thought I’d share it with you….

Here at Nest, we pride ourselves on re-inventing everyday home appliances

We started with the thermostat, then the smoke/CO detector …

Today, we’re happy to introduce the microwave by Nest


‘Watch TV while cooking’ mode


Sleep mode



  • Eliminating guesswork on how long you should you cook for (instead microwave by Nest will auto sense & cook)
  • Voice activated for accessibility or simply when you have you hands full
  • Smartphone integration to entertain you / kids while you cook


1. No more guessing

Gone are the days of guessing of how long to reheat yesterday’s pizza or cleaning the microwave after you’ve boiled milk for too long.

2. No more annoying beeping to indicate food is done

Instead a human voice, politely letting you know that “Dinner is served”

3. Breakfast is ready when you are

Microwave will text you before you go to bed if you’ve forgotten to place your morning breakfast inside (All you need to do is the night prior, 1/2 fill bowl with oatmeal and microwave will use condensed water from excess steam to boil your oats)

Also, scan the QR barcode on your packaged product and we’ll cook it according to provided by instructions!

 4. Smartphone integration

With your Nest app on your smartphone, you can literally ‘talk’ to your microwave:

  • Chromecast videos onto the microwave display and catchup on latest House of Cards while waiting for your food to cook
  • Use your smartphone’s voice recognition to provide hands free instructions on the car ride home to the microwave such as “How long will it take to defrost the chicken? (assuming chicken is already inside microwave)”

5. Advanced technology

Using the steam+ food sensor technology and microwave emitters placed 360 degrees, its the first microwave on the market to evenly cook your food through out.

Safer for you – Sensors will detect whether food container are microwave safe and/or caution you when items not deemed safe like aluminium, metallic trims, cold use plastic containers like margarine containers have been detected, reducing your potential exposure to danger.

(Please note: These danger rules will be updated regularly when new software patches are made available and microwave has been connected to the home wifi network. Your preferences & overrides will be maintained via Nest application)

Last but not least …

6. Save the planet mode

Take your old food plastic take-out containers and microwave it! Using proprietary technology, they will now compost in 100 years as opposed to 1000 years. You’re doing your part for the environment!

Plus, the more plastic you help breakdown at home, Nest will provide you with vouchers towards Nest’s leach free food containers or any Nest product.


Notes for the Reader:

I’ve included some of my ideas from a high level consumer perspective – Nest’s website gives me the impression they don’t inundate their consumer with too much technological depth.

For instance, I had to dig into the details to understand how Nest’s thermostat controls the temperature down to the minute (one of their unique selling points compared to regular thermostats)

  • It does this by monitoring the occupants habits of when they leave and return to the house (‘learn’) and its more accurate if the thermostat is located close to the main entrance

From the design perspective, I tried to present ideas that would allow Nest to enter the market sooner as opposed to looking for some never seen technology.

– microwave would be same footprint as typical models sold today to encourage adoption & be able to be serviced by existing supply chains

(No copyright infringement nor misrepresentation of any brands mentioned intended)



Technology will do more of the heavy lifting down the road but Nest would require capital for which these first generation models could help.

Also, leveraged Nest’s existing tech:

  • smartphone integration to keep the microwave futureproof
  • maintaining a ‘relationship’ with your devices like having a human voice versus treating their products as simply objects.

Any URL links are meant for the reader to see that the ideas aren’t vaporware but Nest’s research should start with those links.

Text in italics or in bold are key from a marketing perspective to be able to simplify its message further.

Future of the microwave or what? 🙂

Next task, flush out #6 ‘Save the Planet’ mode …