Japanese convenience stores are stocked with all sorts of sweet and salty snack foods, but they’re also a great place to pick up reasonably priced, surprisingly tasty meal. Aside from basic sandwiches, they also offer a wide range of pasta and rice dishes, plus bento boxed lunches with a variety of side dishes included.

Of course, no one wants to eat cold spaghetti, curry, or rice bowls, so the staff is happy to warm them up for you too. Different foods needing different amounts of time in the microwave, though, and sometimes convenience store clerks have other customers and duties to attend to too. So to make things easier on their staff and more reliable for their customers, 7-Eleven Japan has developed a clever system where the microwaves themselves know just what to do, ensuring that your food is heated up as quickly and accurately as possible, as demonstrated in this video shared by the chain’s official Twitter account featuring an oyakodon (chicken and egg rice bowl).

In this new system, there’s a QR code printed on the top of the item’s packaging, and the microwave is has a QR reader-equipped camera inside. All the clerk has to do is open the microwave’s door, briefly pass the QR code under the camera, and close the door. Based on the code, the microwave will then automatically warm up the food for the proper amount of time.

The system is still in its testing phase, and hasn’t yet been introduced at all 7-Eleven branches. It looks like it should be very feasible, though, and the microwave shown in the video doesn’t look any bigger or bulkier than a regular unit, so it’s likely that we’ll be seeing the system expanded throughout the chain in the near future, and possibly even utilized for self-service microwaves where customers can easily warm up their own food without worrying about over or under-cooking it.

Extracted in full from:  https://japantoday.com/category/features/food/7-eleven-japan%E2%80%99s-new-microwaves-know-how-long-your-bento-should-be-warmed-up-even-if-you-don%E2%80%99t