This year at the Electrolux Design Lab Competition, Peter Alwin of the National Institute of Design in India, was awarded the prestigious first place award. His product concept, coined “The Snail”, beat of field of 1300 participants. The concept is a small, portable induction heating element, which can be placed on the side of a pot or pan to heat the contents. Supposedly designed to run on a high-density sugar crystal battery (does that exist?), it converts energy from the sugar, heating up a coil to conduct the magnetic energy. Integrated sensors would detect the food type being cooked and adjust the temperature and cooking-time accordingly.
Whether this is destined to be just a “concept”, or move into the proof phase is unknown. But it sure looks like a great idea.