A $1,500 smart oven made me the perfect leg of lamb

I know you can cook on your own, but can you cook this good without thinking about it?

If you'd like to cook more but tend to feel disappointed by the results, you might be interested in the June. Announced last year, the June is an intelligent oven outfitted with a camera, a scale, a bevy of sensors and the guts of a smartphone or tablet (It has an NVIDIA Tegra K1 chip plus a 2.3GHz quad-core processor) to deliver the perfect meal. Want a medium rare steak? Simply weigh it, plop it in the oven where the camera will instantly recognize it's a steak, stick a temperature probe in, enter in your desired temperature on the touch screen and the oven will take care of the rest.

Since last year, the team over at June have been perfecting the oven to cook foods beyond steak. Indeed, it can now recognize a selection of foods that include bagels, cookie dough, salmon, leg of lamb, asparagus and more. Indeed, we had a demo where we inserted a couple of bagel slices and as the oven recognized it, it instantly popped up a menu choice on how we wanted it toasted. And even if it doesn't know what it is, you can always enter in the temperature and cooking time yourself, just like a regular oven. It can roast, bake, broil, reheat meals and, of course, toast.

What sets the June apart is its smarts. For example, say you want to crisp up your chicken after it's done. You can set the oven to cook it to 165 degrees and when it hits that temp, the oven will automatically switch over to a high heat for a few minutes to give you that crispy skin. And since there's a camera, you can keep an eye on your food via an app on your smartphone. The app also works as a remote timer, letting you know just when the food is done.

That sounds pretty great, but the problem is that it's quite expensive. You can pre-order it now for $1,495, but it'll likely be close to $3,000 once it hits store shelves. If you do want to go all-in, though, you should get your very own intelligent oven by the holidays this year (hopefully just in time for pumpkin pie).

I had the opportunity to have a full course meal at June's office recently, where at least one ingredient of each dish was prepared using the oven. And it was delicious. The leg of lamb was done to medium rare perfection and the strawberry rhubarb tart was to die for. Check out the "June Oven dinner" gallery for photos of each individual plate.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2016/06/25/june-o...

Nest BEGINS curating its Works With Nest products online

Is this the end of Nest creating its own products and a move to become the connector and enabler with Brillo and Weave?

Home automation producer Nest wants to make things easier for you when it comes to building your connected home. That's why it will soon curate select items that work with your Nest products so you can buy them directly from its online storefront.

Works with Nest products run the gamut from LIFX WiFi smart bulbs that offer enhanced lighting that works in a complementary way with your Nest Cam or Nest Protect, with options you can alter on your own. You might also opt to add a SkyBell HD WiFi Video Doorbell to your setup, which allows you to stream live video of your front door and record it if Nest Cam happens to sense motion outside your door when you're out.

Over 100 Works with Nest products are out in the wild, though Nest won't be adding them all at the onset of its Works with Nest store. They'll be sprinkled into the mix soon, with additional items releasing online and likely into your home in the future.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2016/06/22/nest-w...

Connected Home Trends To Watch {CES 2016}

Returning from the pit of despair.

 

If you're reading this, it's too late: CES 2016 has wrapped up and the tech evangelists and enthusiasts have packed up and shipped out from Las Vegas. But don't despair: Curbed will be providing post-mortem CES coverage this week—and covering smart home tech developments all year long—so that you know what what's on the horizon, . The show was a whirlwind (we hope you followed along on Snapchat!), and though there weren't any groundbreaking major announcements made, there weresome developments on the show floor. Here now, five trends that really caught fire at CES this year.

1. TVs continued to be the main draw of CES

Two words: Transparent screens. Tech behemoths like Panasonic andSamsung showed off such televisions, which seemed like real magic in a show overflowing with novel wares. Other novel viewing sets included a modular set with six rearrangeable sections and mirrored televisions for, we suppose, narcissists who want to watch the game. It's all good news for the aesthetics conscious among us, who have had to resort in the past to giant cabinets for hiding unsightly screens. Now, they disappear in plain sight.Though these futuristic screens are largely prototypes, they sound the bellwether of change in the industry.

2. Smart home systems abound…

French company Netatmo debuted a new monitoring product in its established smart home ecosystem called Presence, an outdoor security camera that keeps watch over your home with "people, car, and animal detection." Home security was a major theme at this year's show, with gadgets and gizmos aplenty claiming to help homeowners keep their families—and stuff—safe. Companies like Munich-based Elgato and Dallas'sSmanos also showcased new security systems, with cameras toutingincreased resolution and overall functionality, including in darkened rooms and at night.

3. …as did skepticism of the Smart Home.

Casey Smith, CEO of Lexington, Kentucky-based company—and winner of the best brand moniker award for all time—Big Ass Solutions (formerly Big Ass Fans) expressed deep skepticism with the present direction of smart home technology. "Our view of the smart home is that it's a sentient home that recognizes what you need and what you want to happen," Smith said at a panel hosted by CNET last Thursday afternoon. The single-app-controlled products that proliferate across the market don't impress Smith: "When I think of a smart home now, I start to wonder why my rice cooker needs to take directions from me from my phone when I'm in my office." Skepticism like Smith's is crucially important for the industry, and will keep it on a course that is actually about solutions for existing problems, rather than, as many rech folks at the show bemoaned, solutions for problems that don't exist.

4. Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft are vying for your smart home dollars

Amazon's Alexa system—a voice-activated, cloud-based assistant—was the sleeper agent of CES 2016. Though Amazon didn't have a booth at the show, its products and people were very much present. The company's Echo speaker debuted last June, but Amazon's voice assistant is now tied to other, third-party products, too. Our sister site the Verge has plenty more. Google,Microsoft, and Apple all made plays at dominating the smart home market: many companies, including Elgato, above, touted the Apple HomeKit compatibility of their products, Google reskinned humdrum Internet router, and Microsoft continued to unveil connected products for its Windows OS.

5. Voice activation may be the future of the smart home

This one seems like a no-brainer, but many of us use our voices already to communicate, and this would allow users to bypass single-product apps for controlling lights, security cameras, thermostats, and other smart home devices. No word yet on holistic solutions for those of us who use American Sign Language in their daily lives, and for whom voice activated technology is actually not a step in the direction of greater convenience.

Source: http://curbed.com/archives/2016/01/11/home...