Flicking on a gas burner or cobbling together a fire might be the most common way of cooking in the great outdoors, but another option is on the way. The Wayv Adventurer is a battery-operated radio frequency cooking appliance that's small enough to fit in a backpack. In other words, it's a hand-held microwave.
Wayv produced the Adventurer in partnership with NXP Semiconductors, having raised £150,000 of funds for its development via a 2014 Crowdcube crowdfunding campaign. It is designed to heat food and drink anywhere, while being compact, rugged and lightweight. It can be also be used in areas where having a lit flame is banned.
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The Adventurer was conceived for use by the likes of military personnel and adventurers, but it can be used when you're simply out hiking or fishing, or even in workplaces or cabins where there are no cooking facilities. Between 100 ml (3.4 fl oz) and 500 ml (16.9 fl oz) of food or drink can be heated in the unit.
Power is provided by interchangeable quick-charging li-ion batteries. These can be charged from in-car sockets or solar chargers as well as via mains power, and a full charge will provide around 30 minutes cooking (up to six cycles of heating for food or drink).
Measuring 305 x 128 mm (12 x 5 in), the Adventurer is about the size of a typical flask and it weighs in at just 1.2 kg (2.6 lb). This means it will fit easily in a backpack and can be lugged around without any great effort.
Simple controls on the top of the unit include start, stop, backlight and time adjustment buttons, as well as a digital display.
Unlike the vacuum tubes used in conventional microwave ovens, the Adventurer uses technology developed for RF amplifiers in cellphone towers – laterally diffused metal oxide semiconductors (LDMOS) transistors – to generate its 250 W of power. This is what makes the design so compact and lightweight, and it also enables food to be heated evenly without the need for a turntable.
The Wayv Adventurer was demonstrated last week by NXP at its own tech forum event. We're waiting for confirmation on a release date, but the Adventurer should land sometime next year at a cost of US$199.