Meet June, the smart oven for busy home cooks. From the guys who brought us Lyft and perfected your iPhone’s camera comes the oven that won’t burn your dinner when you walk away for a minute. It has a camera, heat and weight sensors and Ashton Kutcher as an investor.
You can try June in person next month at our Food Loves Tech event—enter EDIBLEFLT to get $15 off the regular ticket price. We recently caught up with the co-founders Matt Van Horn and Nikhil Bhogal to learn more about this new technology:
Edible Manhattan: You both have backgrounds in technology and business development, but not at all in the home-goods or cooking space. What made you want to pursue this area?
Matt Van Horn and Nikhil Bhogal: When we first started thinking about what we wanted to do next, we knew we wanted to tackle hardware and mobile, along with leveraging the camera. We focused on the idea of the “connected home” and how technology is changing where we live.
We realized that while there are some great, premium products out there, not much had been done in the kitchen. What’s crazy is if you watch Mad Men, the kitchens today are almost identical! We knew there was an opportunity to use all these advanced technologies to make people better, more confident cooks. We combined the best in hardware and software to create an oven unlike anything else on the market. Now, for the first time since the microwave, June is bringing innovation to the kitchen and combining classic cooking with new world technology.
EM: The product resembles a standard toaster- or compact-oven. How is it leveraging technology to work differently?
MVH and NB: June is a countertop intelligent oven that combines processing power and weight sensors, along with video and mobile technology to recognize what’s cooking and learns to cook it perfectly—from evenly browned toast, to perfectly risen baked goods, to elaborate roasts.
It heats up faster and with more accuracy than traditional ovens and can accommodate everything from a standard quarter baking sheet to a 12 pound chicken. The June is programmable with the most commonly-cooked foods and even able to cater to individual cooking preferences, i.e. a steak can be programmed as rare, medium rare and well-done so that dishes are always the right level of “doneness” for the home chef.
Its built-in camera and internet connectivity lets the user connect with its iPhone and iPad App to double as a remote control, providing the ability to monitor the cooking process onsite or remotely, send photos and videos to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, and receive push notification alerts when the food is ready along with receiving software updates automatically over Wi-Fi.
EM: What are some of the first recipes you tested with the oven?
MVH and NB: Our in-house resident chef Ryan spearheads recipe development for June utilizing his creativity and passion of Californian cuisine with an occasional fusion spin that includes ingredients are sourced from local farmers markets. One of the first things he perfected in the oven was his signature chocolate chip cookies (the secret is to use chocolate with a hint of coffee!).
EM: Consumers often cite time and ease as their reasons for not cooking at home. How will the technology used improve health, lessen time it takes to cook and encourage cooking in the home?
MVH and NB: It’s hard to cook a good meal, let alone eat healthy. June aims to do both by making it easier to cook delicious food to perfection, so you can have nutritious food available fast, or use that extra time to prepare additional dishes while June takes care of the main.
We think that families, couples and singles that love to cook and eat, appreciate the latest technology and gadgets and have the desire to seamlessly prepare a great meal for themselves and others will benefit from this new in-home technology.