Today at the Smart Kitchen Summit, a new kitchen hardware company emerged from stealth mode. Silo makes a countertop vacuum-sealer system they claim will keep food fresh up to five times longer than your average plastic container.
The system consists of a vacuum base and a set of plastic containers, and integrates with Alexa. Founder Tal Lapidot first got the idea for Silo when he was looking for a better way to keep food fresh at home. Applying his engineering background to vacuum storage, he decided to try the technology on containers instead of plastic bags, which are single-use and less environmentally friendly.
“I wanted something fast and easy,” he told me. “Take a container of food, place it on something, and get it vacuum sealed with one touch.”
Since the product he wanted didn’t exist yet, he decided to invent it. Lapidot filed a patent for his technology, and in 2016 he quit his job to pursue Silo full-time.
From the beginning, he knew he needed to make his product smart. “Many of us don’t remember what food we put in the fridge one week ago,” said Lapidot. “The device can give you a stamp of approval that that food is still good… It’s the missing piece.”
Originally, Silo used an app to track food freshness. But users didn’t always have their phones when cooking, and there’s also the whole “sticky fingers in the kitchen” issue. To solve that, the company decided to turn to voice.
Users tell Alexa what food they’re storing with their Silo and the technology will track how long that food lasts. If you ask Alexa what you have on hand for dinner, it will list off what items in your fridge are ready for cooking. You can also ask it about the state of specific foods.
According to Lapidot, Silo is the first company to make a device that has Alexa built in, which means that there’s a fully enabled Alexa Dot in the base of the device. Not only can Silo vacuum seal your food, it can also read you the news, dictate a recipe, or play some tunes.
The company will launch its Kickstarter campaign on October 16. Lapidot said he couldn’t yet disclose prices, but told us that backers could purchase the Silo vacuum seal device plus bundles of containers.
Silo turned to Kickstarter to source funds because the product attracts early adapters. “We want to make waves,” said Lapidot. They’re planning to ship by Q3 of 2019.
As we know all too well at The Spoon, crowdfunded kitchen appliances can have a tricky time making the leap from concept to shipment. Lapidot, however, is confident that won’t be an issue for his company. “Many times, hardware companies work very hard developing a prototype, but they don’t always understand the realities of manufacturability,” he said.
Silo already has two manufacturing partners, one of which is the largest manufacturer of food-grade plastics in China. Many on their team also hail from the manufacturing sector, so they understand potential pitfalls and can avoid them.
Keep checking in for more news from the Smart Kitchen Summit: new products, platforms, updates, and more!