A microwave-sized product that launches today on Kickstarter confirms that small smart appliances are leaps ahead of their full-sized counterparts in connecting the kitchen.
The Tovala Smart Oven will combine the convenience of food delivery with barcode scanning, Wi-Fi and a connected app to make cooking quick and easy for folks who want a well-rounded meal without the hassle of a lot of prep.
You can use the Tovala Smart Oven in two ways: as a standalone countertop oven that you can control with an app, or in conjunction with Tovala-delivered meals. The second option combines the smart appliance with a mostly fresh food delivery service that's similar to Blue Apron or Plated. If you sign up for the delivery, you'll be able to select two to three meals from as many as six weekly offerings. Each packaged meal comes with a barcode that tells the oven how to cook the food in that specific meal.
For example, let's say you have a meal of chicken and asparagus. When the Tovala scans that meal, the oven will know how long to bake the chicken, and it will kick on the broiler near the end of the cook time to add a little color to the asparagus.
The smart oven will cost $199-$279 during the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, prices that are comparable to higher-end microwaves, but Tovala hasn't set the final retail price. Backers should begin receiving their units at the end of the year.
The Tovala is the latest of a string of countertop ovens that are becoming the gateway for consumers to introduce connectivity and efficiency to their kitchens. At thethis weekend, newcomer small appliance company Gourmia introduced its that includes a full-color touchscreen that guides you through recipes. We also saw the debut of at the trade show. Panasonic's oven's not connected, but uses heat from to cook entire meals (raw meat and all) in 20 minutes or less.
The Tovala's biggest competition will likely come from the, a Wi-Fi connected countertop appliance that promises to recognize foods and recommend the appropriate cooking settings. It can also recognize food without a barcode and has a built-in camera that gives you a live stream of your meal as it cooks, puts the June oven's technology ahead of the Tovala. But June's $1,500 price will keep this product out of a lot of people's hands when the manufacturer releases it this spring.
- Create and upload your own recipes to the Tovala wesbite
- Oven uses a combination of wet and dry heat for functions such as broil, convection heat, bake and steam
- External dimensions: 13.25x19.75x14.75 inches
- Food delivery service is not yet available and is optional for Tovala owners
- No knobs or dials on the unit, most controls are located in the app