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I'm in the market for a new talking microwave, and I was wondering if people had personal experience. We have a Temo, but she's ten years old now. Apparently those have been discontinued. We got a Magic Chef from a friend, (I don't know the specific model), and it is the most giant pain in the butt microwave I have ever seen. It doesn't have express cook numbers (that I've found), it doesn't save my power setting when I restart cooking, and he talks wayyyyy too much. Even setting a 30 second timer requires pushing several buttons. Temo was so easy, and she didn't talk my ear off. I hate this Magic Chef.

I'm just fine asking a sighted person to stick dots on a regular microwave, but it would be nice to have something I can use out of the box without help. Are there brands out there that are simpler to use and don't require 30 seconds of programming to set a simple cook timer?

Sugar and spice, and everything ....

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Hi Cinnamon.

I'm not sure what's available in the united states.
Older mikes with actual dials used to be pretty easy to use anyway, just a bumpon or two, but since these days they  have those annoying inset buttons that are near to unusable they're less helpful.

I have the cobalt talking microwave mk6A see The page on their site about it here.

Its easy to set by just inputting numbers either for cooking times or for the basic timer, since there are buttons for one minute intervals, ten minutes and ten seconds, so using it is no problem. It also doesn't talk too much, just says when you've set a timer, though there is a button to check the time if you want (plus its own talking clock), though I do wish it didn't constantly say "door open" big_smile.

The only things I don't like are firstly, it has a hole bunch of inset programs that I've never found any use for, secondly, it has preset time buttons for one minute, two minutes, three minutes and four minutes.
This is fine (the minute one I use occasionally myself), however the preset buttons are below the actual timer buttons and next to the start button. This wasn't the case on the much older version of the cobold microwave I used to have, but in the newer model I've got a nasty feeling that the designer though the poor little blind people would more often be using a one button preset time than actually setting their own time.

Hth.

The cobalt I've found works for me, indeed my mum liked it so much she bought one herself, though I freely admit I haven't investigated many of the different models available so I'm not sure how well the cobalt stacks up against other mikes, likewise of course Cobalt systems are a uk company, so whether they would deliver to America or what might be available over there I don't know.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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Unless you are sold on having a talking microwave, I've gotten by with just a standard microwave with keyboard bump dots stuck to the buttons I need, plus the 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 0 buttons. I don't bother with setting the microwave's clock because I have other talking clocks if I want to know the time. It's an option to consider, and one big plus is that non talking microwaves are way less expensive than the talking ones. The last one I bought about 5 years ago was a Kenmore for only $80 compared to $360 for the talking Magic Chef model.

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4 (edited by flackers 2018-07-10 17:27:36)

I too just use a cheap microwave with two dials that don't need any markers. It cost about forty quid and has a temperature dial that clicks into five positions from keep warm to full. I only ever use defrost and full. The second dial is the timer. I just turn it about a third of the way, and set a talking timer, or you could just use the timer on your phone. I've never felt I needed any more functionality than this.

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@Flacus, nice those microwaves with dials are still available last time my parents looked there wasn't one around, hence why I went with the talking one, on the other hand since my previous talking microwave literally caught fire and this one was bought by the house insurance it wasn't as  badprice wise big_smile.

I'll freely say a talking microwave is something of a luxury, but it's a handy one, though by the same token since I'm not %100 keen on having gadgets like my Iphone in the kitchen when I'm cooking and likely to have wet hands the timer  can be helpful, though these days you could get the same effect with an echo dot or similar voice activated device on a high shelf.

When I was staying with my sister in law and her husband, they had one of those microwaves with inset buttons. I used bumpons to mark the thing, but it was rather irritating since for some reason I couldn't select minutes or start it without inputting a timer, so if I wanted to time anything that wasn't around 90 seconds it was sort of impractical, which was a miner pest.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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If someone offered me a talking microwave for free, I'd certainly take it. And yes, I think I'd continue to always use a talking timer in the kitchen rather than using a phone.

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water don't matter for iPhones 7 or better, I literally took mine in the pool and swam with it under the water, it is fine still.

The bipeds think this place belongs to them, how cute.

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Good point, guys. If somebody gave me a talking microwave, I wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, so I'd take it with thanks.

For a timer, 90% of the time I just use the microwave's speed cook buttons, 1 through 6 for that many minutes. For general purpose timing, since I live in a one bedroom apartment, my google home is within talking distance so I just use that, though I can also use the microwave's timer as well.

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I can also testify to the iphone 7's water-proofing. I fell in the deep end of the pool a couple of weeks ago on holiday. I didn't know the iphone was water-proof at the time, so it was a relief. I had my hand in my pocket so quick, I think the iphone came out of the water before my head.

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10

It is ip-67 splash proof resistant, can survive 3 meters depth for up to 30 minutes in fresh water. The pool I was at was salt water, but the salt content was not high, I did rinse it off with fresh water after though. I wouldn't be stupid as I was and try it just to try it, because they will know, and you will have nothing to show for it even if the phone breaks later, so you've therefore voided your apple care plan if you had one.

I usually use two separate stages for cooking. Not always, but sometimes I will, it will work better if you say, order a pizza, and eat some the next day, right out of the fridge. if you straight heat it, it won't taste as good as if you run it for 45 seconds or so on a lower power setting. then switch to full for the rest. An alternative way of doing it that doesn't require staging is to get a very small dish, fill it with hot water from the tap, then stick it in there. It will hopefully boil a bit in the time that the thing heats up and help keep the moisture in. I do it now with a bit of help from the old eye ball, but its getting harder with some models. If I had to though, I'd put bump dots on probably 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9, probably 0 too since its in the middle between start and clear. Then I'd probably put one on the power change button, since the time cook is straight above it. That would do me fine.

I like tech, I don't like the option of using some dial thing. I'm not a luddite lol. I've done tech for a number of years, most of my life actually. I've grown up at a time before the internet, then discovered it and went from there. Of course, everybody has their choice, and if a dial thing works for them, so be it, I just could never do that, I don't want old crap in my house unless its the zombie apocalypse, then its OK, because you have to take what you can get.

The bipeds think this place belongs to them, how cute.

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I will admit it probably wouldn't have occurred to me to even try a talking microwave if a friendly blind neighbor hadn't levft me his old one in his will, which subsequently worked for about  eight years before catching fire and being replaced by the home insurance.
I have got rather used to having one now, though I could certainly live without one if I had to, hence why I describe it as more a luxury than a necessity.

With the dial mikes ironcrons, its not literally an old mike from the nineties, its just a control design decision. For some odd reason there is this modern obsession of making everything look as if it has a touchscreen even when it doesn't and when it doesn't have one.
We had the same issue when trying to buy a new washing machine recently, since most had really irritating control pads and only a couple had honest to goodness dials.

its like the kind people at my local subway having the bright idea to change their refill drinks despenser from one that just had levers you pushed up on to get the drinks out of, to an ultra modern and very inaccessible touch screen. Why! in the name of merry hell you'd need a touch screen just to choose between Pepsi, seven up or Tango I don't know, but hay that's the wonders of corporate logic for you big_smile.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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I don't mind old school designs as long as they makes sense and are useable.

Dark, these old school designs are often called Retro and are quite popular, especially among older people who lived through those times when those retro designs were current technology.

These day, that knob you turn probably just turns a disk that is read by an optical sensor, rather than a mechanical control from yester year.

Ironcross32, I can understand your sentiment in a way, but often times, those old school designs are far more accessible than today's designs. So I just go with what works for me.

I like new technology, but if it's not accessible, it's useless to me.

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13 (edited by flackers 2018-07-11 00:06:09)

My microwave isn't old though. I bought it new about two years ago. Describing me as a Luddite for choosing a microwave that is easy to use if you're blind with no need for any additional markers or anything is a bit strong. I didn't choose it because I can't cope with new technology, fuck sake.

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14 (edited by Chris 2018-07-11 00:24:04)

Instead of a talking microwave, why not use a modern mainstream one if it can be made accessible through a mobile app or smart speaker? Does anyone know of any accessible smart microwaves? My goal is to one day control all my household appliances via voice.

I am a huge supporter of home automation! It has incredible possibilities for blind people. I don't want to mess around labeling inaccessible controls with dots or tactually marking settings on a dial. I want to fully control the machine and do exactly what anyone else takes for granted without jumping through ridiculous hoops.

Grab my Adventure at C: stages Right here.

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@13 I didn't say that, I said I'm not a luddite.

The bipeds think this place belongs to them, how cute.

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16 (edited by flackers 2018-07-11 01:21:05)

I'm definitely going to sound like a Luddite now, but I am pretty suspicious of all the smart devices we'll have all over our homes from now on. The trade-off of course is organizations have microphones in every room of our houses listening to everything we say. We had a bit of fun on holiday talking utter crap for an hour just to see what ads it would throw up on the phone. But it's not ads that worry me, though I feel it's a massive breech of my privacy, it's that this sort of monitoring could have much more sinister applications. If you're monitoring everything people say in the privacy of their own homes, you can see how they react to the way things are presented on TV, and develop a much more effective approach to manipulating public opinion. If you can sell people coke, you can sell them political opinion. If you look at the propaganda from the forties and fifties, it's so blatant, but it hasn't gone away, it's just subtler. When the creators of such material have access to our every utterance and reaction, it'll reach truly awesome potential.

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@chris

Good luck with that, while smart homes are coming and there are some attempts at it by home builders, they have some pretty serious privacy and security concerns that come with them, especially if all the devices that make the home smart are accessible through the internet.


As the technology is today, I'll adapt and adapt devices to fit my needs with bump dots or whatever else, and be reasonably secure than take a chance on a totally smart home with god only knows what vulnerabilities and risks.

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@Orko, I've heard the retro designs thing, really its a good idea access wise since physical controls are far easier to handle than a wanabe touch screen, though at least when we looked for washing machines and tumble driers it was remarkable how little was available.
I'm not btw speaking of devices with actual! touch screens, just with those inset buttons on a flat pannel that look like touch screens.

As far as smart home devices go, we did actually look at getting a washing machine with hookups to be activated by alexa. Small problem however, to actually setup the smart device you need to use the very inaccessible program setup on the device itself, and then your control over the device wasn't perfect, you could start and stop via voice control, but to do things like changing temperature and wash cycle you had to use the controls which were very inaccessible, indeed it seems currently other than ambient lights and the odd oven, smart control is pretty limited.

I suspect myself that smart activation will improve as time goes on, though at the moment its rather like those devices back in the fifties which took a reusable motor.
Also though, what concerns me a little more is how much your technology choices will  limited by a monopoly on smart devices, since we all know how much companies like Apple and Amazon love their Drm.
It wouldn't surprise me if, as well as attempting to turn all entertainment media into a rental service, they also attempt to control any and all possible purchases of appliances, and likely  materials such as food, washing powder and consumables for those appliances as well.

Still we'll see, voice control is very much in its infancy at the moment, and where it will go nobody is certain, in the future I actually could! see a point where it becomes a great access aid and much less monopolised but we'll see what happens.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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@Dark

Yeah, I'm a fan of the retro style for just that reason, it's generally far more accessible than today's modern designs. But some modern designs like you find with most microwave ovens are readily adaptable with bump dots to be fully accessible where it counts.

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We have a simple microwave at my house.  I only use two buttons on the unit.  The start button, and the stop button.   The start button adds 30 seconds to the cook clock  every time you press it.  No dots, no labels, nothing.  Works for me.  Although I have fancied the idea of a talking microwave, I just don't see the justification of spending an excessive amount of money on such a device, when what I have works just fine.   Maybe if I had the money to go throwing away on something, sure.

Recording artist @ Bass Mekanik Records.  Albums available Wherever digital albums are sold.
My YouTube Channel
Drum Covers | Video Game Covers

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@G-Rad, generally I found myself when I had greater control over the timing on a microwave I would more readily adapt the time to what I'm doing.

for example, when I decide to make burgers, though I do the burgers on the grill, once I've made them up with cheese and sauce I've found that twenty seconds makes the cheese the right amount of melted to work nicely. Thirty seconds is too long and too melted, ten seconds too short and the cheese is barely warm

This wouldn't be possible with a setup where you couldn't get a precise time, indeed back when I used dial type microwaves I still wasn't quite as precise beyond the thirty second mark due to the placing of the bumpons.

of course, you could get the same effect by using another thing to time with like an Iphone or similar, though that would be rather less convenient, since unless you were using a voice activated timer you probably couldn't be as precise starting it when you started the microwave going, which when your talking in terms of twenty vs thirty seconds  make a difference.

As I said, I'll freely admit I could! do without my talking microwave, , but I'll equally say its very nice to have anyway.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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I had thought about having a talking microwave, but as far as I know, the only one that's readily available in the States is the one by Magic Chef, and I've heard it's not that well designed, as well as being rather overpriced. Somebody said it was a pain in the ass. So I'll just stick with main stream ovens and bump dots.

I have several products by Cobolt and like them a lot, if I could get one of their microwaves, I'd consider it, but as far as I can tell, nobody imports them, plus they may not even be available for the 120 volts AC we have here.

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I'm getting the sense that Magic Chef is about all there is, and it's overpriced. Yes, it's a giant pain in the ass with a terrible design. I would be all about an Alexa-enabled microwave, but I don't think such a creature exists yet! I think having a sighted person stick dots on a mainstream one is pretty much the only viable option, it just sucks not to be able to use it straight away without help. I'm not against that option, I just wanted to see what readily accessible ones were out there. I certainly didn't have a talking microwave growing up, but I also had people to put the dots on.

I use alexa for all my timers so I don't get food on my phone. I also prefer dots on all the buttons and numbers. I want full control of what I'm doing, and like Dark, I like being able to set whatever time I need. Poptarts are great microwaved at exactly 28 seconds.

Sugar and spice, and everything ....

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