Make Food More

Bringing digital innovation to the kitchen is hard.. really hard.

Joe Ray from WIRED describes the smart kitchen as being stupid, but I think really it’s a function of its complexity. The kitchen is arguably the most important room in the home and the engine of the household, powering many of life’s daily tasks from cooking and cleaning and increasingly is the focal point when socialising and entertaining.

It’s also the most complex room in the home. Kitchen appliance manufacturers, some of the largest and most successful companies in the world, have been innovating in the kitchen for decades, offering a multitude of machines providing diverse (but silo’d) experiences at various price points, all doing their best to make our lives that little bit easier. The result is that most kitchens use appliances from multiple brands – and to make things even more challenging, these appliances are constantly depreciating, breaking down, being repaired and ultimately replaced for newer models at varying cadences.

This, in large part, is why consumers have been left so underwhelmed by attempts to bring more intelligence to the kitchen. There have been valiant attempts to try create consumer value – recipe apps have somewhat successfully brought a level of variety and balance to our diets, and connected burners and pans have attempted to reduce human error in the cooking process, but these are point solutions and experiences in a cooking process that can often involve a multitude of steps, from ideation, buying ingredients, food prep, cooking, serving, cleaning etc; often touching off a number of brands, appliances, tools along the way. To ‘enjoy’ a digital experience, consumers are, at best, being asked to jump from one interface to the next, but the ‘connectivity’ is not brought digitally, but from human persistence, which ultimately fatigues.

Consumers want and demand better experiences. Always will. And despite its failings, this applies to the kitchen to. The Smart Home is a success; we love our connected thermostats, our network controlled sound systems, our smart TVs, our voice controlled.. everything.. And the kitchen will be no different, but it needs a different approach, and from the appliance manufacturers we spoke too, they realise this too. This is Fresco’s vision for their Kitchen OS; a kitchen where 1+1 = 3. A kitchen where appliances work in unison together irrespective of the manufacturer, to deliver rich UX in the kitchen and removing the complexity involved in making great food.

We love this vision, and well done to Ben and the Fresco team for convincing the world’s leading appliance manufacturers to love it too. Looking forward to seeing what happens next.