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Crazy New Cooktop Uses Virtual Burners

A new cookop technology from Germany-based BSH Home Appliances Corp uses a matrix of induction burner/sensors instead of fixed burner locations.

More efficient use of energy and cooktop space are possible with the Thermador Freedom Induction Cooktop from Germany-based BSH Home Appliances Corp.

Instead of fixed burner locations, the cooktop has a matrix of induction sensor/burners which detect the location and shape of ferromagnetic cookware and cook on its footprint. A touch screen shows a graphic of where on the cookware is on the cooktop. You can touch it to adjust the heat and cook time for that particular pot.

Traditional cooktops have "dead zones" where you can place your cookware, but it won't cook. Likewise, a pot may be too large for a burner and be heated unevenly. The Freedom Induction Cooktop can recognize any cookware that is ferromagnetic and optimize to its shape. More cooktop space can be used efficiently than in a conventional cooktop.

Induction cooking heats the cookware directly rather than heating the area under the cookware. Induction creates a magnetic field which excites electrons in ferromagnetic cookware, turning the cooktop into the actual heat source.

The demo in the video above is of a prototype. Production cooktops should be available in July from luxury appliance stores. It will cost about $4500, twice the cost of a standard electric cooktop.

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