The aptly named MAID Oven knows what to cook, how to cook it, and will even learn your personal preferences and stream your favorite cooking show.
All Images via SectorQube
The founders wanted everyone to be able to cook — a task that is harder for some than others. “You’ll be able to cook food that is healthy for you,” explains Nibu Alias CEO, SectorQube, the startup behind the product. “The personalization feature in MAID tracks your activity and delivers content that is specific for you. This will create a big impact on what people eat.”
Formed in 2011, SectorQube has grown from a group of six friends, to a team that is now 15 strong. The company’s vision is to create smart devices by integrating the power of the internet of things (IoT) with consumer durables.
Following through on this vision, the MAID oven is connected to a curated, crowd-sourced recipe store via the internet, giving it access to an unlimited number of recipes. The oven can recommend dishes but also allows users to search based on ingredients or type of dish. It will set the time and temperature based on the number of servings, and even prompts you to work out — depending on the amount of calories you have consumed.
“MAID is the smartest oven on the planet,” adds Alias. Adding to its intelligence is MAID Assist, “the ideal kitchen assistant.” Displaying ingredient lists for recipes, the assistant also provides voice instructions and visuals to help users prepare their dishes.
The oven features touch, voice, and gesture controls for when your hands are dirty. The six inch capacitive touchscreen supports four point touch, with all electronics safeguarded from heat, a task which proved to be one of the most challenging aspects of the project.
The MAID probe was another major challenge, but also the most innovative aspect of the oven. “It is a wireless probe designed to work in extreme temperatures and send data to the MAID app,” explains Alias. “Current probes in use are wired. Thus, you can use them only in ovens. The wireless probes in the market don’t work inside the oven.” The MAID probe eliminates this problem as it works both inside the oven and when cooking with other devices. The data is transmitted wirelessly to the MAID control panel and corresponding app to inform the user of the cooking status.
The team went through many iterations before arriving on the current prototype, using CAD software for the design, and PCB software to layout the electronics. “We did not bother to build an oven from scratch because we were focused on the interface and controlling parts,” explains Alias.
The MAID Oven was successfully funded on Kickstarter in December, with $123,920 pledged towards a $50,000 goal.
“The industry is highly promising,” says Alias. “The IoT is going to sweep over products and make the world smarter than ever. Major players like Google, Samsung have entered the market and started creating products for the future. MAID will join them.”