What’s cooking? IoT in the Kitchen


According to Forbes, IoT is basically “connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet and/or to each other” [1] You can literally connect all the devices in your house, from cellphones, lights, coffee makers, baby monitors, TVs, toothbrushes (but why though?), computers, and even your beds. However, as someone who loves food but hates cooking, I am most interested in how IoT will affect how I eat, whether it’s my abilities in my own home kitchen, or the food I get from restaurants with their commercial kitchens.


A connected kitchen can automate and standardize many restaurant processes and provide greater visibility into restaurant operations, such as the condition and status of kitchen equipment [2]

Let’s look at what can be done in a connected kitchen:

  • Issue alerts when temperature changes can affect product quality
  • Anticipate equipment failures and schedule maintenance as needed
  • Increase customer satisfaction through more personalized digital services
  • Data collection on devices to help management improve efficiency

In a connected kitchen, sensors can be attached to two main types of equipment: the heating and refrigeration units. The sensors gather data and during regular intervals, upload that data to a cloud-based platform, where restaurant workers can easily access the status of all the equipment in the kitchen, even when they aren’t at work. [2] As a result, managers can be alerted if a cooler door is left open for too long and prevent food from spoiling, and notified if an oven is left on and prevent a fire. Furthermore, real-time monitoring of all the connected equipment in the kitchen help restaurant workers come up with energy-saving best practices in order to cut costs and of course help the environment.


Now let’s look more closely at our personal home kitchens! After all, we can’t eat out every single day. I can already imagine how convenient this will be! In the morning, I can throw what I need into a crockpot and turn it on to start cooking while I’m at work. If I need to stay a little later, I can just tell the crockpot to keep warm until I get home.

Here’s what companies have to offer in terms of IoT kitchen services [3]:

  • LG: It’s home chat features directs its appliances through SMS. For example, you can ask your appliances to go into power-save mode
  • GE: It offers remotely controlled ovens as well, so you can ask your oven to preheat from your phone before you get home. Would you feel safe doing that though?
  • Belkin: It’s WeMo enabled Smart Slow Cooker allows you to adjust its temperature and on-off settings using a phone app

I am beginning to think more about other ways that a smart kitchen can make our lives easier. What about fridges that can tell when we are out of food and automatically order delivery for us? Or a fridge that can detect when something is expired and notify us?


When thinking about kitchen devices and IoT, I cannot help but think back to Juicero. In case you guys haven’t heard of Juicero, it is a $700 WiFi connected home juicer that was somehow able to raise $120 million from Silicon Valley investors [4]. It seems completely outrageous that investors would actually want to invest in something like this, but I guess that they were drawn to the IoT hype.


[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobmorgan/2014/05/13/simple-explanation-internet-things-that-anyone-can-understand/#6d2971791d09

[2] https://www.accenture.com/t20161111T040424Z__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/PDF-36/Accenture-Connected-Kitchen-Cooking-Up-Value.pdfla=en#zoom=50

[3] https://medium.com/@ironsexpert/smart-kitchen-reality-internet-of-things-ee914bde8ad6

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/01/juicero-silicon-valley-shutting-down


9 comments on “What’s cooking? IoT in the Kitchen”

  1. In most countries, a major hindrance for women to take up full time jobs is that they are expected to look after house affairs. A great social impact of this could be that as most house items can be controlled without being physically present in the house many women, in some part of the world, may find it easier to pursue careers.

  2. Thank you for a nice post. I’m quite interested in this topic not only because we can enjoy the same taste of restaurants, but also because smart kitchens can save a lot of times and improve our QOL(quality of life). In my case, I don’t mind spending much money on smart kitchens. So I can’t wait to introduce it to my room.

  3. Interesting article! One thing I have wondered as we are able to outsource more of our lives and chores through technology, is whether the typical person of the future would have a kitchen at all, or whether we would completely outsource all cooking and kitchen related work. I can imagine a future when people might prefer to order food on-demand, rather than invest in the cost of running an entire kitchen – especially for single people or couples who spend most of their time at work. Perhaps it would be more space and cost efficient to order food on-demand and not have a kitchen, and then that space can be used for something else – food delivery of the future I am sure might evolve to be healthier and more like home cooking than it is now. It will be interesting to see how different living circumstances and the need to use space more wisely will affect the purchase of IoT devices like kitchen-wares, television etc.

  4. This is a really interesting application of the IoT concepts into real life situations and needs. My wife has been doing some research around the Thermomix which starts as this magical food processor (hardware) that can basically blend, chop, mix, cook, stir, and many other functions with the required ingredients to deliver a final meal, it is almost magic. Granted it is over $1,000 however it seems to be years ahead of the market. The latest version has network connectivity with your phone to get recipes, program your weekly meals and basically automate your kitchen activities. https://thermomix.com/

  5. It’s a very interesting application area of IoT. Only few current smart home startups are focusing on devices in the kitchen. One of the reason may be that electrical devices in the kitchen typically need people’s attention for operation. For example, people need to leave appropriate food inside an electric pressure cooker for it. But I do believe with the development of cooking robots, application of IoT in the kitchen especially those for restaurants will be more common. Imagining that food cookers, processing tools and refrigerators are all connected together and very little human interference will be needed in Panda’s kitchen in the future. Taste and quality of food will be more consistent.

  6. A lot of interesting applications/innovation has also popped up on various crowdfunding websites for various functions —
    1. Monitoring the kitchen https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/freshfridge/freshfridge-the-affordable-smart-kitchen-ecosystem
    2. Gourmet meals where each component is cooked separately and according to the ingredient https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1483909118/suvie-kitchen-robot-with-multi-zone-cooking-and-re + https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1492357784/tovala-the-smart-oven-that-makes-home-cooking-easy
    3. An intelligent pan https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hevans/pantelligent-intelligent-pan-cook-everything-perfe
    4. ‘Smart’ garden kitchens

    I suppose it’s very exciting to see how kitchens of the future will look like and function, and how they might come together to save us time without having to compromise on flavour.

  7. Sharon, Thank you for your post; I found it very interesting.
    I am personally very much into culinary arts and gastronomy, so reading your post about the influence of the IoT and devices in the kitchen really sparked my attention into the possible implications of the technology into the industry as a whole.
    I would also look into how this could affect franchises and large restaurant chains to improve their efficiency and consistency.

  8. I really enjoyed your article. I think that integrating technology into the kitchen is a great idea. However, it is also a little scary, since the products generate a high amount of heat. Sure it is cool to be able to turn on the oven when you aren’t home, but what if you didn’t close it all the way last time. Or maybe you forgot about the leftovers you put in there the day before. Also, you would need a secure wifi network to ensure safety. Overall I think it will definitely help many people, but we need to make sure that it will be done in a safe way. Thanks for the great article!

  9. Very interesting read. Got to learn a lot about IoT’s implications in aspects our daily lives. While IoT is very useful for monitoring, alerting and automation of certain processes, R&D in complete automation of the food preparation process is also being carried out which combines industrial automation with IoT based monitoring processes which would lead to an even more complete kitchen experience with minimal human interaction. IoT has pervaded into many areas of our lives without us realizing it and I believe that with the smart device count of the world increasing, IoT will spread to even more regions and applications.


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