INNOVATION

The Future Kitchen: A Fridge That Helps You Plan Your Meals

It can even tell you when your veggies are going off.

31/03/2017 1:46 PM AEDT | Updated 02/04/2017 3:21 PM AEST
Innit
A fully-connected kitchen of the future is around the corner. Australians will be able to have a digital kitchen by early 2018.

Anyone with fond memories of the cartoon 'The Jetsons' - that showed a typical family of the 21st Century - will be excited to hear that an automated kitchen, not unlike the one featured in the iconic 1960s show, is in the very near future (younger generation - think 'Futurama'- although The Jetsons is iconic and incredibly forward-thinking with touch screens and LED TVs).

Okay, we don't quite have Mrs Jetson's infamous 'screen menu' that produced a three course meal at the touch of a button. But we do have a completely connected kitchen of the future that's happening right now.

In the US, startup Innit has been helped by global tech company Thoughtworks to develop the ultimate smart kitchen. It can create meal planners and recipes, recognises the food in your fridge and pantry and it can even cook your meals.

With advanced technology that uses sensors, machine learning and nutritional knowledge, Innit is able to create a connected smart kitchen by creating software that will manage each stage of your meal.

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Imagine a kitchen that can read the products in your fridge and pantry?

It 'sees' what's in your fridge and pantry, creates a menu based on what you've already got, and tells your oven how to cook the meal. It also means you'll be able to put gourmet meals on the table, without losing your marbles.

Josh Sigel from Innit told The Huffington Post Australia a smart kitchen is made possible through a free app. When you download it, it asks you a series of questions.

"So it learns about your eating habits and your health goals so that we can create meal personalisation and walk you through a meal planning process. It also facilitates the ability for you to create a list of grocery products, based on the meals that have been planned for you," Sigel said.

"The platform has the ability to be tuned based on your skill level. For example, there might be a time when you're looking for information about how to de-bone a salmon. It will give you micro-moments of information to increase your level of confidence that will get you through the whole meal preparation process."

Innit
Who wouldn't want a kitchen that can sort out your meal planning?

Innit developed the programme with the thought that we are all increasingly time poor, yet many of us would like to eat gourmet food - without having to get takeaway.

A recent study in the US showed that Americans are spending more on dining out than on grocery sales.

"We want to help people only buy the groceries that they need, and that will save them money. We want to help people cook the food properly so that they won't throw anything away, "Sigel said.

Innit
A smart kitchen promises to save you money as you stop wasting money on groceries you don't need.

The Connected Food platform includes two mobile apps - one that comes up with recipe ideas based on your dietary preferences, health related issues, wellness goals and what's in the fridge/pantry. The second app is able to control the actual cooking.

It includes custom software development, data analytics and Artificial Intelligence based on food type and weight. It can even read feedback transmitted by oven sensors, to make sure your meal is cooked to perfection. Sigel said, right now, the platform is focussed on non-sensor ovens.

"But, in the longer term,we see sensors placed into different types of appliances, so we have the capabilities of instructing an appliance to do things more accurately. What we're focusing on is leveraging the right time, the right temperature; basically taking control of an appliance.

There will eventually be sensors in your oven, fridge and pantry that be turned into recipes, with preparation instructions. If you want to make Jamie Oliver's salmon soba with ginger citrus but don't have the noodles or citrus, the app will reorder the missing ingredients based on what's already in your fridge and pantry.

It will even learn about your veggies and tell you when they're about to go off, and what you should be cooking to make the most of them in their aging state.

Innit
A smart kitchen will have an oven that cooks your food to perfection.

The first live demo recently went live in New York's Pirch restaurant last year.

While the apps will be free, Sigel said there will be a 'small monthly cost' at a later stage.

"Over time we'll look at considering premium models as we build more robust features at a low monthly cost. We want to ensure if you're going to be spending a few dollars on a smart kitchen, we'll be saving you money in other ways by making your shopping cost effective," Sigel. Australians should be able to download the Innit app in early 2018.

For a reminder on how fabulous the Jetsons was - for a series that lasted one season (24 episodes) it is still seen as an iconic futuristic show - take a look at this short clip.

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