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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Smart Home

Bosch partners with creator of connected kitchen scale for smart oven

The appliance maker will use software from Drop, best known for its smart kitchen scale, in its Series 8 connected ovens.

Drop

Drop is moving away from its kitchen scale and focusing on its software.

Drop

A line of Bosch wall ovens will turn to a smart kitchen scale company for software to help connect your appliances to each other and your phone or tablet. Drop will provide software for the appliance manufacturer's Series 8 ovens that will adjust the oven's cook times, temperature and humidity levels via Wi-Fi, based on recipes you select through an app, it announced ahead of the IFA trade show in Berlin. The integration will begin rolling out to existing Series 8 ovens in October.

"The oven will grow and get better as our software gets better," said Ben Harris, the CEO and co-founder of Drop.

Drop created a smart kitchen scale of the same name that connects to an iOS app that guides you step by step through a recipe based on the weight of ingredients. Now, Drop has shifted its focus to the software that powers the app -- half of the app's users don't even have the scale, Harris said.

Manufacturers turn to software startups

Large appliance companies have spent the past few years adding connectivity such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and near-field communication (NFC) to their products so that you can control some of their features from an app on your phone.

The next challenge in creating a truly smart kitchen is to connect all these appliances so they talk to one another. A central app could help you keep track of what food you have on hand, suggest meals based on that information and cook that food to near perfection.

Though some manufacturers have attempted to create in-house software platforms, others are looking to tech startups to provide the software to tackle this herculean task. Whirlpool announced earlier this year that it would include software from the startup Innit in its Jenn-Air-brand wall ovens that will guide you through recipes and cook at optimized settings.

These collaborations show that manufacturers have realized that it's best to outsource the smarts of their connected appliances to smaller companies, ones that are devoted solely to software, to turn the concept of a smart kitchen into a reality.