I found very interesting DIY project of kitchen PC. It includes an ELO 19″ 4:3 touchscreen, Intel Core i5 processor based PC, iPhone-like user interface and a bunch of useful applications such kitchen database with barcode scanner, cooking timer, todo list etc. Additionally Twitter client, iTunes, Skype, Google Maps, weather app are available for users. Also PC allows to watch TV (DVB-T) and works as digital photo frame in standby mode.
The kitchen PC runs Windows 7 and uses Active Desktop feature to set custom UI. The budget of the kitchen PC is about €1000. Thanks to the author you can download all used applications including UI, graphics and kitchen database.
Well, the project looks pretty cool. But … It’s overpriced I think. First of all in my mind the nVidia Ion with dual-core Atom would be more appropriate choice. It’s cheaper, more compact and energy efficient but offers the same possibilities – run rich GUI or watch HD video. I’m also would like to see Linux as OS instead of Windows. Cause it’s more reliable and it takes less resources. So, you don’t need the strong processor and big amount of RAM to run applications included into the kitchen project. In any case, that project demonstrates how attractive a kitchen PC can be and it gives a basic ideas for your own project as well.