App-enabled food scales have been smart kitchen fixtures for a while now. Existing products likeand tell you exactly when and how much of a certain ingredient to add so you can feel at ease regardless of your degree of cooking competency. While Orange Chef's new Countertop scale has a lot in common with the competition, it also diverges in one key way.
In addition to the standard step-by-step recipe tutorials, Orange Chef has also secured partnerships with, and -- and says that there are more to come. The goal here is to make the battery-powered Countertop your one-stop fitness, sleep and nutrition shop.
Here's how it's supposed to work: If you've just finished a workout, your Jawbone Up should send all of your workout data to the Countertop iOS app (an Android app is in development). From there, it should suggest optimal post-exercise recipes and walk you through the process.
If you happen to have a Vitamix or a Crock-Pot appliance as well, you can buy Orange Chef's optional NFC accessories. With the NFC tech attached, the scale is supposed to instantly recognize what device you're using and offer up Vitamix or Crock-Pot-exclusive recipe suggestions.
This doesn't seem all that useful, though, since Vitamix or Crock-Pot owners presumably already have a bunch of device-specific recipe ideas that came with their original purchase. And, it seems unwieldy to have to stick an NFC-tagged Crock-Pot on top of a kitchen scale just to access custom cooking instructions. Still, you can always skip this part and simply use it as a standard Drop or Perfect Bake-style smart scale.
Orange Chef's $100 Countertop scale, $10 Vitamix NFC accessory and $5 Crock-Pot NFC accessory are all currently available for preorder now; prices are expected to double when this period ends. After that, the team plans to phase out its $150 -- that's a similar Orange Chef product that's already sold in places like Williams-Sonoma but lacks Countertop's NFC integration. Countertop shipping is slated for mid-December and we've already requested a unit to review.