Source: Image from patent application from The Markov Corporation

We like to point out cool things here at The Spoon. Things like this video Markov posted awhile back, showing how it’s Level oven can “steer” heat, essentially cooking two different things at two different temperatures at the same time.

For the uninitiated, the Markov Level oven is among a wave of new, connected countertop cooking appliances that use computer vision and AI for more precise cooking. The Level also has two patents that cover its use of infrared to help evenly apply heat as well as “reflective energy steering,” which helps it precisely apply RF energy in the cooking chamber.

You can see this steering in action in the video Markov posted at the end of January. In it, different cups of colored water are placed in the cavity; one is brought to a boil while the other is not. The video goes through a couple different permutations of this experiment with different placements and water volumes, but it illustrates how the Level is able to cook different foods (like proteins and vegetables) at the same time.

LEVEL oven – differential heating demo from Arvind Pereira on Vimeo.

This multi-zone cooking is part of the pitch Markov is making as it tries to break into the corporate catering space. Also in January, Markov launched the Level Pantry service that combines a Level oven with a special Level food service and fridge. The idea is that hungry office workers can mix and match different proteins, carbs and veggies and cook them all at once. Though definitely cool technology, The Spoon’s Mike Wolf wasn’t sure that the bells and precisely steered whistles would be enough to convince an office manager to invest in anything other than the reliable ole office microwave.

I’m interested in seeing the Markov’s heat “steering” in action. I tried the Brava oven, another in the cohort of newfangled cooking appliances, which uses light to cook. It too offers a multi-zone cooking experience, though I found placement of food within those zones to be imprecise and borderline unreliable.

With its move to corporate offices, Markov’s go-to market strategy is a little different than the Brava or the June. But as the connected oven space heats up, we’ll be writing plenty of stories about all of them (and if you work there, be sure to tell us when you have a cool video up).

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