Two San Francisco technology moguls want you to have chocolate chip cookies baked to perfection, every time.
Matt Van Horn and Nikhil Bhogal, who are former Apple engineers, have invented an oven that does all the work by itself – from identifying the food placed inside it, to sensing and setting the cooking time and temperature, and then shutting off when the job is done. All the cook has to do is prepare the food and wait, or watch from a smartphone.
The June Intelligent Oven “is engineered for precision heating,” according to its website. “Like cruise control on your car, June continually calculates the power needed to maintain a constant temperature. Food cooks faster while using less energy than traditional ovens. And a core temperature probe alerts you the moment your food is cooked to perfection.”
The Food ID program uses a built-in camera and various hardware and software programs to figure out what food has been placed inside within seconds, The Verge reported.
"Natural foods all have micro-textures, which look different upon closer inspection," said Mr. Bhogal, CTO of June. "With pork versus beef, they both have different-looking fat patterns. That’s what we train the computer to do."
Mr. Van Horn, the company's CEO, added, “Right now we are experts in steak, chicken, white fish, salmon, bacon, cookie dough, brownie mix, toast, bagels, and hamburger buns.” With future software updates, however, June’s recognition capabilities will expand. Users will also be able to program their own settings.
In appearance, June could be mistaken for a microwave or a toaster oven – it is smaller than traditional ovens, with about a cubic foot of space inside – and is meant to be placed on a countertop, rather than built into the wall. It is designed to fit a 12-inch pizza, five-pound turkey, and dishes up to 11 x 16 inches, according to its website.
"We feel that this small space works for 80 percent of these cases that have a small family," Bhogal told The Verge. "If you’re making six cookies for dessert for a family of three or four, you don’t need to fire up a 5-cubic-foot oven just to do that. With constant use, this will work out to be much better, energy- and money-wise."
The oven has a built-in scale that both automatically weighs the food when determining cooking time and lets users weigh ingredients by placing them on top of the oven. A core temperature probe is also included.
June’s accompanying smartphone app – though not required for oven use – acts as a remote control that turns on the oven and sends notifications when food is done or needs to be adjusted. Users can log recipes and add them to a calendar; the app generates a shopping list based on the meal you have scheduled and the number of servings you plan to make. It also uses the oven’s camera to offer users a live stream of the food while it cooks.
Currently, the June Intelligent Oven is available for pre-ordering at a price of $1,495, including a one-year warranty. Pre-orders will ship in the spring of 2016.