Kitchen tech company, Drop, announced today that it will be launching its first foray into voice control of kitchen appliances via its new Siri integration.
Voice control is a particularly interesting interface in the kitchen, where sticky fingers and loads of wet ingredients aren’t great for touching devices like iPads and smart screens. Being able to “talk” to your oven or your sink while knead-deep in dough, promises to make cooking more efficient.
To that end, Drop, which up to now has offered guided cooking recipes and remote control of select appliances via phones and tablets, has started the process of adding voice control. Interestingly, the first voice integration isn’t with the omnipresent Alexa, or even Google Assistant, it’s with Apple’s Siri. A Drop corporate blog post explained the decision, saying that the company had previously worked with and had good experiences with Apple and that Siri’s voice command recognition was superior to either Google or Alexa’s.
The blog post also explained that user and data privacy was a priority for Drop, with the company even invoking GDPR:
Also, unusually among big tech companies, Apple has maintained a firm standpoint on user privacy. Whereas assessing and analyzing user data from the cloud allows other companies (most notably Google and Facebook) to improve their AI capabilities, it does so at the expense of user privacy. With Apple, all processing of Siri shortcuts is implemented directly on the device, rather than by sending sound-bytes from our homes out to the cloud.
Security is something which has been, and will always be, of utmost importance to us at Drop. An example of this was achieving GDPR compliancy well ahead of schedule, going to great lengths to restrict data collection and access internally. We also have a rigid approach to building infrastructure and implementing and enforcing security measures.
In addition to rolling out on just one platform, at first Drop’s voice control will only make you coffee, and that coffee has to be made with Bosch Coffee Machines equipped with Home Connect technology. As you can see from the video below, once set up, you can just have to say “Hey Siri, make me an espresso” and it automatically fires up the Bosch coffee maker. Drop said it will be adding voice controls to more recipes that will work with more appliances.
While it probably won’t go mainstream this year, voice control is becoming more central to the kitchen experience. GE Appliances and Electrolux expanded their Google Assistant capabilities last summer, LG’s Thinq appliances work with both Alexa and Google Assistant, Drop rival, Innit is working with Google, and Amazon built its own Alexa-powered microwave. Drop’s adoption of Siri is a nice feather in the cap for Apple’s assistant, and further evidence that voice control will soon become ubiquitous in our appliances and apps and throughout our homes.