Chefling released an update to its kitchen assistant app this week that the company says will create more personalized recommendations. The app update also includes enhanced pantry management as well as smart appliance controls.
Previously, we described Chefling’s service this way:
With the Chefling app, users can scan barcodes or take a picture of their receipt to monitor what foods they have in their fridge and pantry (and keep tabs on when that food will expire). Based on your food inventory, Chefling’s smart cookbook will then recommend recipes you can make. If you are missing any ingredients, Chefling automatically creates a shopping list for you and as you check these items off this list, the app keeps track of the new food available for newer recipe recommendations.
I spoke with Chefling Co-Founder Amar Krishna by phone and he said that prior to this week’s update, Chefling used “brute force” algorithms to make recipe recommendations because of its smaller data set. This time last year, the company had roughly 150,000 users. That number has since grown to 600,000 users, giving Chefling the hundreds of thousands of data points (recipes searched for or browsed, recipes chosen, frequency of cooking, etc.) required to do more deep learning and, as Krishna put it “unleash the algorithms.”
The result, Krishna said, is highly personalized recipe recommendations. Open the app, and it will serve up smarter, better, more accurate recipe recommendations based on the food you have. “It should know you more than you know yourself,” he said.
The app update also comes with a new food inventory feature. Through manual barcode and receipt scanning, Chefling has always kept track of what you add to your cupboards, but it didn’t know when they were removed. With this update, after you make a recipe, you can click to “Update Pantry” and it will subtract the amount of each ingredient used to make the recipe. This way the app knows how much of a particular ingredient you have left for future cooking.
Chefling is now also able to control certain Bosch smart appliances in your kitchen. From the recipe you can do things like set the oven or fridge temperature, or even turn on the coffee machine.
There are plenty of apps looking to become your kitchen assistant besides Chefling, namely Innit and SideChef. And all of them are striking deals with smart appliance manufacturers. Will this update be enough to help Chefling break through? We’ll have to see once it gets cookin’.