GE Appliances, a division of Haier, today announced the newest version of its Kitchen Hub smart kitchen and ventilation system as well as new artificial intelligence (AI) technology to assist with meal planning and cooking.
The new Kitchen Hub still sports a giant 27-inch touchscreen and fan that’s mounted over your cooktop range, but now also features a built-in microwave and three different cameras: one looking down on the cooktop, one looking straight out for video chatting, and one inside the oven so you can monitor cooking either on the Kitchen Hub screen or via the accompanying mobile app.
Other features of the Kitchen Hub include built-in Google Assistant, SideChef for recipes and guided cooking, Netflix and Spotify, smart home monitoring and control and live video chat.
Those cameras built into the Kitchen Hub aren’t just for video chats and sharing photos of your homemade pho. Cameras that are built into a number of different GE Appliances will use computer vision and AI to identify food and recommend meals based on ingredients on hand (presumably with a camera built into a fridge), help detect doneness of food and even raise or lower oven temperature.
The battle for the “Kitchen Screen” has been going on for a couple of years now as appliance manufacturers look to leverage the kitchen being the center of a home as a means of making their smart ecosystems more enticing for consumers. And it looks as though in addition to big screens, having an AI solution for your cooking is the new table stakes. Yesterday, both LG and Samsung announced their new smart refrigerators, each sporting a big touchscreen and AI to help with meal planning and grocery shopping.
With its big, horizontal screen, GE Appliances’ Kitchen Hub certainly fits in with how people currently watch movies and TV on their home screens (moreso than on the narrow, vertical screen that are typically built into fridges). The addition of the microwave and ventilation to the Kitchen Hub could give it the versatility to attract consumers and become the center of the smart kitchen.
We’ll have to wait until later this year to find out. Both the Kitchen Hub and GE Appliances’ AI come out in late 2020.