The way we interact with our kitchens is in the midst of massive changes. Guided cooking apps are helping anyone become a better cook, screens are popping up on fridges (and elsewhere), and we can control more and more appliances in the kitchen just by talking to them.
So, as a big tech guy and start-up enthusiast, I think we are right here — not that we have any of this technology right now, but voice activated everything I believe is — first of all, it’s already in some homes… But I think that where the commercial restaurant or kitchen very shortly will be able to see some really amazing things happen, from the business perspective as well as the cooking execution.
If I could walk into my kitchen right now, like I can in my home, and set an oven, and a fryer and a refrigerator temperature by just saying, “Hey oven, turn on to 500 degrees and set the fryer to this and turn the lights on to this.”
We often write about voice interfaces in the home kitchen. GE’s new microwave is Alexa-enabled so you can tell it to stop or add time to your cooking. You can control LG’s SmartThinq line of cooktops ovens and fridges with Alexa or Google Home. And Kohler and Delta both have voice controlled faucets that let you dispense precise amounts of water.
These are all applications for home kitchens, however, which usually are less loud and chaotic environments than a commercial kitchen. Chef Blais would know better than I, so I wonder what tweaks would need to be made in a restaurant kitchen to accommodate for noise levels, voice recognition and lag time reduction between when a command is given and when the appliance executes it.
Thankfully, we will have a chance to ask Chef Blais in person, as he will be a speaker at our upcoming Smart Kitchen Summit in Seattle this October (get your tickets now!). He’s enthusiastic about technology so the discussion with him is sure to be insightful and entertaining.