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Circuit Breaker

The RetroFab lets you customize your toaster’s controls

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A group of researchers have devised a way for people to create their own control interfaces for household appliances. They say their RetroFab system is so simple anyone can use it, although I don't exactly think that's the case, especially considering most people don't have a Microsoft Kinect laying around. But let's say you do have one, and you're interested in customizing an appliance's controls. All you have to do is scan the object with the Kinect, load that rendering into the RetroFab program, register where the control buttons are currently and where you'd like them to be, and then 3D print a new control panel overlay.

No more confusing lamp pushes and pulls, or twists and backward flicks. It does end up looking like a rigged setup with wires hanging around, and frankly, it's a lot of work just to change how a toaster or lamp functions. Also, the setup is maybe a fire hazard? But if you're sick of pulling down a lever to make toast and would prefer to push a button, RetroFab definitely could offer a more durable fix.