With Freshub 2.0, the company has created a platform for ordering groceries using natural language interfaces such as voice and gesture recognition. As part of the announcement, the company said it is working with third-party hardware makers to build Freshub 2.0 into devices, and identified XtremeMac as its first consumer device hardware partner.
The XtremeMac device is called KitchenHub, is described as “a high-end touchscreen-enabled, voice-activated music player that comes bundled with an array of kitchen applications, including grocery shopping, music playback, recipe lookup, cooking timers, weather forecasts and more.” The two companies did not give a shipment date for the KitchenHub.
By focusing on natural user interfaces like voice, Freshub offers a potential alternative to grocers or food retailers who are wary of standardizing on Amazon’s Alexa and Dash platforms. Amazon’s own home commerce efforts seem to be slowly shifting towards Alexa and away from Dash, in part because of the runaway success of Alexa and Echo.
Freshub’s ace in the hole still seems to be its relationship with NCR, a retail point of sale Goliath, who probably sees Freshub’s technology as a necessity to fight back against Amazon’s effort to push the point of sale into the home.
Freshub also has a relationship with Gourmia, a fast growing maker of connected kitchen equipment. The relationship was announced last spring, but at this point it doesn’t look as if Gourmia has shipped any products powered by Freshub’s platforms.
You can see Freshub CEO Iri Zohar speaking about its technology and the smart kitchen commerce market with the head of Amazon Dash Daniel Rausch and Hiku CEO Rob Katcher at the first Smart Kitchen Summit below.