Ovens are getting fancier with new connectivity and automated cook programs. Someone replacing a traditional oven they’ve had for decades with a newfangled smart oven could be forgiven for not understanding or taking full advantage of all their new device’s automated bells and whistles.
To help with this, and to educate its users, European appliance giant BSH is enlisting the help of Alexa and SideChef. BSH is running a pilot program in the U.K. for Bosch Home Connect oven owners. Users there with an Amazon Echo Show (or Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire HD Tablets) can download the Alexa Home Connect Cooking Challenge skill.
Once downloaded, users can follow one of 25 guided recipes (pizza, pastries, proteins, etc.) created by SideChef. After preparing the dish, users tell Alexa to turn on the oven. The connected oven will then use an automated cook program to, presumably, cook whatever the meal is to perfection.
For food tech fanatics like many Spoon readers, this type of feature may sound a little ho-hum. Alexa already integrates with plenty of appliances. But the goal for BSH is to surface new and interesting capabilities on its devices that their customers might not know about. In addition to automated cook programs, the recipes could introduce people to a steam feature, and the dish being made illustrates how to use that feature.
This is also just the beginning for the Home Connect Cook Challenge skill. I spoke with a BSH representative by phone this week, and they outlined how shoppable recipe functionality is on the product roadmap along with expanding the library of recipes to include any recipe a user finds on Alexa, not just ones from SideChef.