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USB bento warming bag
Posted By Biggie On February 14, 2009 @ 5:56 am In equipment, review | 18 Comments
Here’s an ingenious specialized contraption from gadget-crazy, bento-friendly Japan. It’s a  USB-powered bento warmer bag from Thanko Co. that plugs right into the USB port on your desktop computer and warms your bento lunch to 60 degrees C (140 deg. F). I could see this as being handy for people working in offices without a proper kitchen, or who use pack lunches in metal containers that can’t go into the microwave. It’s a little disappointing that it won’t work with laptop computers due to power requirements, though.
A Thanko staff member developed this when he wanted to heat up the bento lunches that his wife made him. The company already made a line of  USB gadgets, so coming up with a USB-powered bento warmer was a natural solution.
To use this, you’d want to pack your lunch carefully with heating in mind, packing fruit and other cold dishes separately or in a removable subcontainer (see my post on  Hot vs. cold lunch packing considerations). If you’re not comfortable with heating food in plastic,  tempered glass or  metal bento boxes would be an excellent option.
The  USB-powered hot lunch bag is currently available only on preorder through the Japanese-language website, and Thanko expects to have more in at the end of February 2009. If they don’t turn up on eBay, one of these  overseas shipping services may be able to help you get them (albeit at a premium).
It might turn up eventually on Thanko USA’s online store  Rare Mono Shop, which also stocks  other USB gadgets like a  USB coaster that can both cool and warm cups and bottles,  USB cordless warm slippers, and even a  USB head refresher! People have also posted on the Lunch in a Box forum about looking for a source for these USB bento bags, so keep an eye on  that thread and comments here for leads.
(Disclaimer: I have no commercial affiliations with Thanko.)
Article printed from Lunch in a Box: Building a Better Bento: http://lunchinabox.net
URL to article: http://lunchinabox.net/2009/02/14/usb-bento-warming-bag/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/3276722573/
 USB-powered bento warmer bag from Thanko Co.: http://www.thanko.jp/hot_launchbag/
 USB gadgets: http://www.raremonoshop.com/products/usb.html
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/3277543598/
 Read on for information on availability.: http://lunchinabox.net/2009/02/14/usb-bento-warming-bag/#more-1858
 Hot vs. cold lunch packing considerations: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/08/06/box-lunches-hot-or-cold/
 tempered glass: http://lunchinabox.net/2008/02/11/glass-bento-boxes-microwaving/
 metal bento boxes: http://lunchinabox.net/2008/10/06/metal-bento-boxes-shepherds-pie/
 overseas shipping services: http://lunchinabox.net/2008/03/24/japanese-auction-overseas-shipping-services/
 Rare Mono Shop: http://http://www.raremonoshop.com/
 USB coaster: http://www.raremonoshop.com/products/usb/usb-bottle-cup-cooler-warmer-coaster.html
 USB cordless warm slippers: http://www.raremonoshop.com/products/usb/usb-cordless-warm-slippers.html
 USB head refresher: http://www.raremonoshop.com/products/usb/usb-head-refresher.html
 that thread: http://lunchinabox.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=270
 Food safety for packed lunches: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/05/08/food-safety-for-packed-lunches-updated/
 Bento FAQ: http://lunchinabox.net../2009/02/10/2009/01/15/2008/12/23/2008/12/15/2008/12/10/2008/12/09/2008/11/1
 Biggie’s list of top speed tips, tutorials and reviews: http://lunchinabox.net../2009/02/10/2009/01/15/2008/12/23/2008/12/15/2008/12/10/2008/12/09/2008/11/1
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