A karaoke shower and microwave that freezes food win the Odd Invention Challenge

freezer wave wins the odd invention challenge cooling microwave
For a couple of years now, flavored-liquor maker Oddka — which lives up to its name with fresh-cut grass and electricity vodkas — has been running an Odd Invention Challenge, awarding thousands of pounds to the person who invents something wacky but ultimately useful. This year’s winner was Emma Maskery, who came up with an idea for a microwave that both heats and cools food.

The machine would work like a regular appliance, but it could also chill or freeze food and beverages, depending on how cold you want it. That white wine you just bought? Quickly drop the temperature a few degrees without having to resort to ice cubes in your glass.

Inventor Colin Furze helped judge the competition, then built a prototype. By adding two carbon dioxide canisters to a microwave, Furze helped make Maskery’s Freezer-Wave a reality. The freeze switch releases pressurized CO2, lowering the temperature of whatever’s inside the microwave. In the video below, you can see the Freezer-Wave in action, forming ice crystals in a glass.Shower karaoke

“Winning £5,001 and actually having my invention made is incredible, and hopefully it’s the start of an Instant Freezing Microwave revolution!” said Maskery, according to the Daily Mail. She beat out Alex Clarry, who came up with the Karaoke Shower, a waterproof LCD touchscreen that comes with a disco ball showerhead and speakers, so you can belt out tunes as you bathe. Most people we know who sing in the shower do not need this kind of encouragement. Still, his consolation prize was £4,999, and Furze also built him a prototype.

Okay, after watching that video, our minds are completely changed. We demand a disco ball in our shower. Clarry, get thee to Kickstarter.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: inflatable backpacks and robotic submarines

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

'NBA 2K19' will dunk on you, but don’t worry. You’re going to like it.

NBA 2K19 makes smart changes that force you to dig deep into your bag of tricks to succeed. This might be the most accurate virtual version of NBA basketball yet.
Music

Listen up! These are the best movie soundtracks of all time

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled background music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.
Photography

Watch how Nikon tests the durability of its D850 professional DSLR

Nikon's D850 DSLR won many plaudits when it launched in 2017. Praised for its robust, weather-resistant body design, the Japanese camera firm has released a video offering some insight into how it came to be built that way.
Smart Home

Hands-on with the Glas, the most beautiful thermostat you’ve ever seen

Johnson Controls today opened the doors for consumers to buy Glas, the company's answer to Nest and Ecobee, the Honeywell Lyric, and basically every other company that thought it would turn that simple round dial on the wall on its ear.
Smart Home

The Glas thermostat is now available and works with Cortana, Alexa, and Google

Microsoft just debuted its very own smart thermostat (the first that it's created), and of course, it can be controlled via voice with Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Smart Home

How to set up your Lenovo Smart Display

Here's how to set up your Lenovo Smart Display, including what information you need to provide to the Home app and how to choose the right Google Assistant settings for your new smart screen.
Smart Home

Fraudulent sales of home alarm systems are on the rise nationwide

According to a new consumer survey from the Consumer Federation of America, there are increasing reports of bad actors using scare tactics and manipulation to sell fraudulent alarm systems.
Smart Home

A school district subsidizes a tiny home community for teachers

The lack of affordable housing in Arizona's Vail school district prompted the plan for a community of tiny homes reserved for educators. Other cities in the U.S. use the tiny abodes for homeless and economically disadvantaged people.
Smart Home

Kroger supermarket chain tests driverless grocery deliveries in Arizona

Kroger and autonomous delivery innovator Nuro began a pilot program in Scottdale, Arizona, for grocery home deliveries with Prius cars to test the self-driving concept. The first tests do not use the purpose-built Nuro vehicle.
Smart Home

Vitamix recalls 100,000 blender containers after multiple ‘lacerations’

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of about 105,000 Vitamix blending containers after 11 customers reported accidents, including lacerations due to a design flaw in the product.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Smart Home

Google may release a digital display smart speaker in time for the holidays

The new speaker will join Google's existing range of smart speakers, utilizing the voice assistant Google Assistant. The lineup currently includes the Google Home, the Home Mini, and the Home Max.