UPDATE: A little more than a week after we broke this story, The Verge wrote a story of its own which garnered a lot of attention. In the wake of increased press scrutiny, June sent us the following statement.
Safety of our product is June’s number one priority, and the company took a number of precautions in the production of the June oven. We have worked directly and quickly with the few June owners who have experienced accidental preheat. These instances are concerning for sure, and we have a team of engineers working to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future. We have had ovens deployed in the market for 4 years now and have a large passionate community. The best-case scenario is hearing from customers in real time, like June does, to address any issues as they arise.
OUR ORIGINAL POST:
One of the things I like about the June oven is that it shuts off when I’m done cooking, so an OCD-esque person like myself doesn’t have to worry about it being on when I leave my home. But evidently, a couple of June users discovered that their smart ovens were accidentally preheating on their own, without being turned on by a user.
Having an oven turn on and heat up all by itself without the user knowing — or being home — is obviously bad. So June Co-Founder and CEO, Matt Van Horn, took to Facebook this week to let owners know that a fix is on the way.
When you open the June mobile app, there is an option to preheat your oven with the tap of a button. This could be helpful if you’re busy outside or on your way home from work, so the oven is ready to go when you get home. But in both of these scenarios, the user understands what is happening, and is actively instructing the oven to turn on. “The majority of our customers really like this feature,” Van Horn told me in a phone interview this week.
However, two different June owners posted messages, one as recently as July 28, on the Official June Owners Facebook page about their ovens accidentally remote pre-heating on their own. On July 30, Van Horn posted the following message on Facebook to outline two forthcoming adjustments, writing:
All – I want you to know that we take accidental preheating seriously. We care about all of our owners and want you to be happy about your experience with June. The June team is actively working on a safeguard which includes two phases to prevent unintentional preheating from occurring. Phase one, which will be launched in a September software release, will include:
- Owners will be able to disable remote preheat within their oven settings (below is a mockup of what this will look like)
- The remote preheat option will default to On, but at any time you can choose to turn this off through Settings on your June
- If you have turned remote preheat to Off and are cooking a recipe within the June Cookbook, you will get a notification that you need to change the setting on your oven to turn remote preheat back On to cook the recipe (this will allow the app to set the oven to the right cook mode and temperature for the recipe).
Phase two will include the ability for the June to recognize that there isn’t food inside the oven using our door and internal camera sensors when the oven is on. June will turn off the heating elements after a set amount of time if food isn’t detected inside the oven. This will be released early next year.
Van Horn told me that these features had been on the product roadmap for a while, but got prioritized because of the aforementioned user issues.
There are a lot of things wrong with social media, but situations like this show that it can be a powerful customer service and corporate communications tool. And speaking as a June owner, this fix will certainly ease my OCD.