Flex and Innit, in collaboration with Google Cloud, announced Tuesday a solution to power smart kitchen appliances, enabling seamless connectivity, built-in security, upgradeability and interoperability “out of the box.”
This pre-integrated, fully tested suite of solutions is designed for makers of appliances such as ovens, refrigerators, cook tops, smart cookers and blenders to add modern interactive controls, connect different products using Google Cloud, and utilize the Innit platform to reinvent the food preparation process and deliver restaurant-quality experiences in the comfort of home.
To power these capabilities across a variety of kitchen appliances including ovens, refrigerators, cooktops, smart cookers and blenders, the three companies designed a pre-integrated, fully tested suite of solutions for appliance manufacturers, aimed at reducing the cost of adding new connected capabilities.
Flex has introduced a new line of standardized IoT and human interface modules, backed by manufacturing services. Google Cloud contributes its AI, voice, security, IoT cloud connectivity services, and the new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) artificial intelligence chips for smart devices.
Innit’s platform connects devices and services into a compelling consumer experience, orchestrating multiple brands of appliances to prepare meals with personalized nutrition, step-by-step video guidance and customized, automated cooking programs tailored to each device.
The next generation of IoT 2.0 functionality in the kitchen appliance market promises to bring much richer orchestration, including personalized settings, post-sale software-upgradeable features and interoperability of devices from different vendors with an intuitive, unified consumer experience.
“Until now, appliance manufacturers have been forced to assemble their own hardware and software components to create smart devices,” said Kevin Brown, CEO and co-founder at Innit. “The Flex-Innit-Google Cloud solution provides a powerful platform to build programmable, upgradeable appliances with differentiated features quickly and cost-effectively, with instant connectivity to the cloud and a rich network of food and technology partners.”
“This Flex-Innit-Google solution integrates hardware, software, cloud and partner ecosystems, and can enable rapid development of products that come alive with connectivity to top brands and advanced services,” said Dave Gonsiorowski, vice president of Innovation Services at Flex. “There’s a tremendous opportunity for this technology to help consumers simplify the process of cooking world-class meals at home.”
In contrast to simple tasks like turning on a light bulb, smart kitchen appliances need to support sophisticated, precise actions that can be pre-programmed and adapted to a variety of foods, with coordination across different appliances. This solution offers streamlined connectivity for IoT devices; enhanced end-to-end IoT security; cloud services and device identity management for millions of appliances; software-upgradeable features for purchase; rich content and adaptive cook programs tailored to get the most out of each device; orchestration of heterogeneous appliances within a multi-step cooking session, and personalized and context-driven voice/video interactions.
“In a world of accelerating development cycles, appliance manufacturers need solutions to rapidly integrate connectivity, security, analytics, and partners so they can focus on core differentiation,” said Antony Passemard, head of product management for Cloud IoT at Google Cloud. “The Flex-Innit-Google Cloud solution enables devices to instantly connect to Google Cloud Platform and access a wide variety of services, ensuring consumers have a great experience and manufacturers can offer their customers better experiences, support and product innovation.”
The joint Flex-Innit-Google Cloud solution was showcased in private demos at CES 2019 in Las Vegas to small and large appliance manufacturers and is available for pilot implementations.