This week, SideChef announced an integration with Samsung’s intelligent voice assistant Bixby. The partnership centers around the launch of a voice-activated guided cooking capsule (capsules are Samsung’s equivalent to Amazon Alexa skills) which will give users of Bixby-powered mobile phones access to approximately 15 thousand recipes, most with step-by-step video-powered cooking instructions.
From the news release:
“Users can hone in on the exact recipe they would like by adding natural language constraints, such as dietary restriction, cuisine type, and even specific ingredients. Once a recipe is selected, SideChef provides video instruction through Bixby to guide home cooks through the entire recipe preparation process, from start to finish.”
While Samsung’s voice assistant doesn’t quite have the same degree of loyal usership as, say, Google Assistant on mobile phones or Amazon Alexa in the home, it is installed on a whole lot of Samsung products. Last year Samsung CEO D.J. Koh declared that the company’s AI assistant could reach a total of 500 million devices if it were to be installed on every Samsung device.
Of course, to reach that massive audience, SideChef’s new capsule would then have to be installed by the consumer, who will be able to find it on the Bixby Marketplace (Samsung’s “app store” for Bixby Capsules). Samsung launched the marketplace in mid-2019, and the newness of the store may actually play to SideChef’s advantage as theirs is probably one of the few recipe-centric voice apps and most likely the only guided cooking capsule on the still relatively bare shelves of the Bixby marketplace.
This move comes a year after SideChef launched on Amazon’s video-enabled Alexa devices, the Alexa Echo Show and Echo Spot, and just a couple months after the smart kitchen software startup announced an integration with Haier’s smart fridges at IFA 2019. While it isn’t immediately clear if the Bixby integration will put SideChef on Samsung Family Hub refrigerators, I would expect that will happen sooner rather than later.
Finally, while SideChef continues to rack up appliance partnerships, the company is also beginning to explore partnerships with big CPG brands. Last month the startup partnered with Bacardi through its Alexa integration to enable step-by-step drink mixing. This trend of food brands integrating with smart kitchen software platforms isn’t limited to SideChef, as SideChef competitor Innit announced a partnership in September with Mars through a Google Lens integration that will enable both guided cooking and personalized meal and nutrition recommendations.