Kitchen Tools & Gadgets

Smart oven knows what you’re cooking and how to cook it better than you

The revolutionary June smart oven.

The revolutionary June smart oven.  (June)

The oven of the future is here, and it may replace the need for humans in the kitchen.

Meet June, the brainchild of two former Apple engineers who sought to revolutionize the difficulty of traditional food preparation.

“We found ourselves cooking late at night and [came] up with the idea for June,” CEO Matt Van Horn told Buzzfeed. “We know cooking’s hard, and we wanted to make it easier.”

June is a countertop device about the size of a traditional microwave oven. Its built-in camera and scale can recognize foods—and their size--and can direct users how to bake an item by providing temperature and time suggestions. It’s big enough to fit a 12-inch pizza which means no one goes hungry at the expense of convenience.

Of course, the high-tech machine is not perfect.

"Right now we are experts in steak, chicken, white fish, salmon, bacon, cookie dough, brownie mix, toast, bagels, and hamburger buns," Van Horn told The Verge. With additional software updates, the company hopes to add more foods to that repertoire.  

Cooking more complex items, like a medium Thanksgiving turkey, for example, requires a steel probe to assess ideal doneness temperature—which is pretty similar to how many home cooks prepare a big bird in a traditional oven.

But one of the most innovative features of the device is that the WiFi enabled  video stream from the camera actually allows users to monitor food progress in real time. Just like a newborn baby monitor, doting chefs can watch from afar while their chocolate chip cookies transform from doughy orbs into crunchy little disks.

For hyper impatient late snackers, the device may be a godsend. With carbon fiber heating elements, the oven reaches optimal baking temperature in just seconds—no need to wait around for preheating.

But at $1,495 a pop the inventors recognizes June may be prohibitively expensive for the average consumer. Still, the device may pay for itself over time.

"We feel that this small space works for 80 percent of these cases that have a small family," co-founder and CTO, Nikhil 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."