We met with a guy recently from a company that makes a really cool smart oven. It’s about the size of a toaster oven, but it uses light to cook meals. There’s no pre-heating, no worrying about leaving it on. It sears steaks, bakes brownies, comes with a camera so you can watch food cook, and its trays are dishwasher safe. And they’re perfecting an app for a smartphone to go along with it. It’s amazing technology that has increased purpose for someone who can’t use a conventional oven. The conversation we had as a group afterward may have been more fun than the demonstration. We have 14 people here now, and we’re all completely different. We each bring our own wisdom and enthusiasm to every discussion. Our chatting took us well past our normal meeting time and I don’t think any of us were ready to stop when we did.

A silver Brava Smart Oven sits atop a counter.

We’ve been talking a lot about the value of mixing fun in with the work we do. So much that goes on in the human services sector is serious and important, and don’t get me wrong, our work can be, but helping people discover what’s possible with tools, toys, gadgets, gizmos, and all the other things that define assistive technology can really be a lot of fun. We high five and celebrate all the time when we watch someone connect with the right device. You might notice that we’ve been trying to have fun with our social media account too. Where are We Wednesday and the 80’s Song of the Month are big hits (see what I did there?)! And we’ll be looking to do more and more fun things in the future.

Who knows, the next time you walk into one of our demonstration centers the delightful smell of fresh baked cookies might greet you as we pull them out of a really cool smart oven. That would be fun!
From left to right in a small demonstration room at MN Star Program in St. Paul, MN: Jamis Wehrenberg (wearing virtual reality goggles), Tom Gerhardt (holding an adapted fishing rod and reel above his head), Amy Perron (holding an adaptive pad), Mike Chaussee (holding an adaptive sensory globe), and E. Walls (holding an Astronaut space buddy star projector) all smiling for the camera.
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