June, the company behind the intelligent countertop convection oven, has introduced its first wall oven, the June Pro.
The June Pro, available for sale today on the company’s website for $1,995, comes in a 24″ wall model, with other sizes to be made available soon. In addition to being the company’s first wall oven, the June Pro will have the same features which made the original June stand out, such as in-oven HD camera, fast-heat carbon fiber heating elements, app control, and automatic software updates. The June Pro’s internal dimensions are the same as the countertop model, with a height of 12.8 inches, 19.6 inches wide, with a depth of 19 inches. The June Pro, which is expected to ship within 30 days, comes with “white glove” installation service.
I caught up with June’s CEO, Matt Van Horn, by phone to talk about their new product. When asked about the biggest difference between the June Pro and other ovens, he didn’t hesitate.
“The best feature of the June is it’s the first appliance to get better over time instead of worse,” said Van Horn. “All the learning we are able to collect from consumers that make it available to us, all that gets pushed into software updates.”
While some Wi-Fi capable ovens from other manufacturers such as GE have added new software features in the field such as Alexa compatibility, June takes it to another level. Van Horn pointed to a recent software update that June rolled out a few weeks ago that added slow cooker and warming drawer capability to existing June countertop ovens.
“We literally build new appliances in software,” said Van Horn. “We researched slow cookers and figured out how to do that with our current hardware.” The new slow cooker and warming drawer feature will be available in the wall ovens as well according to Van Horn.
One of the selling points of the June countertop oven was its ability to identify foods using an internal HD camera, which provided the necessary information for the oven to initiate an adaptive cooking program as well as monitor the progress of a cook. When it first shipped last December, the original June could identify up to twenty-five food types, a number that was expected to increase over time. While Van Horn wouldn’t tell me how many foods the original June could now identify over half a year after shipping, he did point to how continuous changes to the June OS allows the company to make improvements to the June’s adaptive cooking programs.
“One of the biggest complaints from customers was our bacon cook program,” said Van Horn. When the company analyzed the data, they realized one of the most important variables when cooking bacon was the number of slices. Cooking one slice of bacon required a completely different cook program than when cooking nine slices of bacon. Eventually, they adapted the program, so the oven automatically accounts for the number of slices (the internal camera will identify this) while also allowing for the user to input variables such as desired crispiness in the June app.
“We turned one a one sized fit all bacon program into 36 bacon programs,” said Van Horn.
One big positive with June’s new product is it is much more in line with pricing for its product category. While the first June oven had many features which set it apart from others in its general category, it was hard for many to accept a price point that was five to ten times more than other countertop convection ovens. At $1,995, the June Pro is a bit more pricey than some other 24″ wall ovens but doesn’t induce the same kind of sticker shock as the original June (which will, for now, remain priced at $1,495).
I’m also interested to see if and when the June Pro becomes available through brick and mortar retail. Like the June countertop oven, the June Pro will first only be available through the company’s website (the original June can now be bought through Amazon). While I realize going to brick and mortar retail would require the company to give up significant margin, I still think many consumers want to see how an oven looks built into a kitchen, even if that kitchen is a display unit in a Home Depot.
My biggest critique of the June Pro is its small internal dimensions. At the same exact size as the June countertop, it’s one cubic foot interior is much smaller inside than traditional 24″ ovens, which usually come with a five cubic foot cooking chamber. Consumers used to multiple oven racks or cooking tall items will probably pass on this device. Based on this, it will be interesting to see if future ovens offer a larger internal capacity.
Despite this, I think this is a big announcement for June. Simply having a built in oven product opens the company up to a whole new set of consumers. Discriminating cooks who want access to high-end cooking features often available only in professional ovens that go for $10 thousand or more can now access some of those in an oven for two thousand bucks while not having to give up counter space to do it.
Hear June CTO Nikhil Bhogal speak at Smart Kitchen Summit in Seattle on October 10-11, 2017. Use the discount code SPOON to get 25% off of tickets.