Frequently imitated. Frequently bettered. But this is the original Weather Forecasting Toaster!

Built at the turn of the millennium when wifi, broadband, GPS, arduinos and high powered lasers were unheard of (or heard of a bit but quite expensive); Toasty used a TINI Java microprocessor coupled to a 28.8k modem chip and some heating elements to direct-dial it’s own server via a free-phone number. The server geo-located the toaster using the inbound phone number’s area code and contacted the UK met-office via their APIs to query the days weather and returned a simple forecast that the toaster then used to burn a fairly low-resolution indicator of the day’s weather.

Multiple prototypes were built including one that used an ink-jet printer with olive oil replacing the ink to ‘print’ the symbol onto the bread (when covered in oil the bread does not toast as quickly as the surrounding dry bread). And a later version (2012) using a raspberry Pi, wifi and a high powered laser – where location was based on IP address. None ever made it to production… and that is probably for the best!

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