The Kitchen that Thinks for You
You have probably experienced the following situation before: After a long day in the office, we come home and open the fridge only to find out there is nothing on hand to prepare a quick healthy meal. You are either short of the right ingredients or food has simply gone bad leaving you with nothing but an empty stomach. All that belongs to the past.
The team at Yummly has come up with a clever app that uses AI to make cooking simple and fun again. On the back-end, Yummly scouts the Internet for highly rated creative recipes while its AI retrieves all the details necessary to actually get started, i.e. the list of required ingredients, the measurements of each item and of course the method of preparation. In addition to that, the AI is also capable of analyzing various recipe attributes in terms of cuisine, course and special occasion. Each food product is thereby further defined and classified, helping the user when they wish to avoid certain ingredients based on e.g. allergies. To put it plainly, Yummly can suggest a tasty cake recipe for your next birthday party – one, that doesn’t contain any of the nuts your daughter is allergic to.
Whirlpool has added Yummly to its portfolio of products, linking up household planning with their home appliances. They recently showed a version of the app that was able to recognize ingredients just by using a smartphone’s camera. This is where the magic happens. Based on the ingredients available at home combined with a full understanding for the user’s likes, dislikes, and any dietary needs, a variety of tailored recipes can be offered. Smart Kitchen home appliances from Whirlpool will then be able to provide further support once a recipe is chosen. The app could for example trigger the oven to pre-heat once enough of the preparation has been completed and subsequently provide status updates during the backing process. Or if the user leaves the kitchen, the app could make sure to keep the food warm at the end of the cooking time.
Amazon is also actively researching the Smart Kitchen capabilities. In a recent patent application, they described a system for detecting spoiled food in the refrigerator. This opens up the possibility for your fridge to automatically order produce that has passed its best. Coupled with delivery drones, you may return home to find fresh products for your planned meal waiting at your front door.
IoT enabled Smart Appliances will need to leverage the power of AI to actually deliver the time-saving capabilities our busy society needs. Once our appliances have become sensor-enabled and connected, it will be AI supported apps that really make the difference we see on a daily basis.