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Editors' note, November 15, 2016: Our full review of the June Intelligent Oven is now live. Click here to read.
A new tech company called June hopes the temptation of watching food bake and a desire for hands-off cooking will draw consumers to its nearly $1,500 countertop oven.
The June Intelligent Oven, which is available for preorder at the company's website today, includes an interior camera and an Nvidia Tegra processor commonly used in mobile devices. These features, say the company, enable the appliance to recognize foods when you put them in the oven and recommend the appropriate cooking settings.
The appliance also has built-in Wi-Fi that connects it to an iOS app, in which you can watch your food cook in real time, receive push notifications when the dish is ready and remotely control its settings. The app will also assemble a time-lapse video of your dish as it cooks, and you can upload the footage to social media.
The June oven will initially be able to recognize 15 commonly cooked foods when the company rolls out beta units in the fall. The first mass-manufactured units will ship out to customers in spring 2016. June plans to eventually send updates to the oven to expand the range of food it recognizes.
The June oven is similar in size to a toaster oven (there's 1 cubic foot of cooking space), but its $1,495 price tag is on par with that of full-sized ranges. The internal computer and its recognition capabilities explain some of the cost, but connectivity isn't unheard of for conventional-sized ranges that cost less. The LG Smart ThinQ LRE3027ST , for example, is a full-sized electric oven that offers some smart features for less than $1,400.
If you remove connectivity as a factor, the June oven is similar to the $249 Breville Smart Oven . The Breville has pre-set modes that will select temperature and cook times based on the function you want the oven to perform (broil, bake, roast, reheat, warm, toast) or the food you want to cook (bagel, pizza, cookies). However, the June oven boasts a more streamlined appearance with a 5-inch touch pad and control knob that are mounted directly on the 22-inch glass door, rather than a separate panel of controls like the Breville. The company also cites a responsive carbon-fiber cooking element.
I'm guilty of taking too many peeks at my food while it's baking, so the June's camera and app would be a lot of fun for anxious cooks like me. The app's push notification would also come in handy if you're hosting a gathering and can't always be in the kitchen to know when your food is done. But size and cost matter. If I had $1,500 to spend, I would expect to receive something bigger to meet my daily cooking needs. I'm anxious to see if the company will evolve and apply this seemingly cool technology to a larger-scale appliance.
Starting today, you can put down a $95 deposit to reserve your oven at June's website. The beta units will be available in the fall, and the first mass-manufactured units will ship out to customers in spring 2016.
June was founded by two tech vets -- CEO Matt Van Horn co-founded Zimride (now Lyft), and CTO Nikhil Bhogal previously worked at Apple. For more information about the June oven and the company, visit juneoven.com.