Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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One-shot toaster

First in-best served.
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Take toaster out of box and toast bread until you've nailed the setting that suits you.

Now, break lever on side of toaster that activates an internal mechanism and that's it.

Anyone can now make toast to any setting they like, but when the toast "pops" the toaster defaults back to its original setting.

No more whining about who changed the setting etc.

cromagnon, Oct 25 2012

Optical Eye Toaster Optical_20Eye_20Toaster
better supplemental toastedness detection, for xamdram [Loris, Oct 26 2012]

I (+) [cromagnon]'s idea, but it's not complex enough for my tastes Orbital_20toaster
Now THIS is complex... [normzone, Oct 26 2012]

[link]






       How does breaking a lever on the side of the toaster make it default back to its original setting after someone else has changed it?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 25 2012
  

       I'm glad there's something here that symbolises something, even if it's only symbolic.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 25 2012
  

       Springs and cogs.
cromagnon, Oct 25 2012
  

       Oh, of course! Suddenly it's so clear!
Alterother, Oct 25 2012
  

       I think the idea here is not that you break off the lever that sets the temperature, but the lever that sets the /default/ temperature that the toaster returns to after being adjusted and subsequently used.   

       As to how this could be accomplished, I don't think it would be too difficult. If the toaster uses a knob to determine the browning setting, you could use a dual spring system to create tension either way you turn the knob from the default, and a clamp to create enough friction to keep it at whatever position you set the dial to. When the toaster pops, the clamp is released momentarily, causing the dial to spring back to its default position.   

       Out of the box, the entire dial mechanism would rotate, spring mounts and all, so there would be no default. After breaking off the lever, the spring mounts would lock into position, enabling the return mechanism to function. The only problem I see with this design is that it doesn't really need to involve breaking off a lever. A switch on the back would work just fine. Most people aren't going to bother changing the default unless they really intended to do so.
ytk, Oct 25 2012
  

       I think the Idea here is to break one of the internal linkages, so that the lever is still there but has no effect. The setting you want is permanent/internal (and becomes the default) because of the broken linkage.
Vernon, Oct 26 2012
  

       How about a separate button or two with personlized memory settings like some cars have for seat position? Everyone else is able to adjust the toaster to how they like it but you can revert back to your personal preference with the push of a button.
AusCan531, Oct 26 2012
  

       Have you ever noticed that if you are the second person (in a row) to make toast, it will toast faster because essentially the toaster has been pre-heated. I'm not sure this idea can really work unless the toaster been engineered to detect exactly how much heat is to be generated at the specific time of toasting.
xandram, Oct 26 2012
  

       I *think* bigsleep was proposing optically measuring the surface colour of the substrate to determine whether it was done. Which I further think would be a good idea for toasters in general, nailed or otherwise. And then observed that kmlabs had already proposed in 2005 (Optical Eye Toaster, linked).
Loris, Oct 26 2012
  

       Also, doesn't the ambient temperature of the bread have some effect? Certainly, gourmet sourdough slices from last month's farmers market take a lot longer to toast from frozen.
pocmloc, Oct 26 2012
  

       I'm pretty sure you could use the acoustic properties of the toast to determine its done-ness. As toast becomes less moist and bread-like and more crisp and toast-like, its resonant frequency and absorption spectrum will change. Thus, the toaster will have a tiny sound generator firing pulses of sound through the toast, to be picked up by a microphone on the other side. Once the right absorption spectrum is reached, the toast pops up.
hippo, Oct 26 2012
  

       Why not just use a high-powered laser to ablate a sample of the toast and analyze it with the built-in mass spectrometer?
ytk, Oct 26 2012
  

       That would certainly be more appropriatly complicated than using a high-powered laser to toast the bread.   

       However, the laser could be dual-purpose, or coupled with the pantone-scale optic analysis and resonant frequency detectors. Maybe neutron activation analysis has an application here as well. We could end up with a real culinary radiation hazard if we try hard enough.
Alterother, Oct 26 2012
  

       What is the electrical resistance of bread? If we apply a high enough voltage to opposite edges of the slice, do you think a current will flow? Do we need to evacuate the toaster to prevent arcing?
pocmloc, Oct 26 2012
  

       needs more dongles, widgets, gears, circuitry, and badgers. still worth a bun
Voice, Oct 26 2012
  

       I've thought of a few ways to do it. One involves springs, cogs and nitinol, but as [bigsleep] and [pocmloc] point out, different bread, different outcome. Nothing can save this idea, not even a nail. Fail!   

       [AusCan531] Bake your idea and make a gazilion dollars!
cromagnon, Oct 27 2012
  
      
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