Mozilla Working On Smart Kitchen Bot To Help You Figure Out What's For Dinner

The Mozilla Foundation, the non-profit organization in charge of running the open-source Mozilla Project, is working on a smart kitchen bot that would help you decide what to make for dinner, Smart Kitchen Summit has learned.

The project, which is part of the Mozilla connected devices project and launched in June of this year, could ultimately result in a software system that utilizes sensor technology such as RFID or image recognition and artificial intelligence that accounts for dietary preferences, current kitchen food inventory and other factors to help a person coordinate and cook meals.

What's for Dinner use case diagram from Mozilla smart kitchen project

What's for Dinner use case diagram from Mozilla smart kitchen project

The project is currently in the first stage (validation) and the team is building a prototype to test with a consumer user group to get feedback before moving to the next stage. The group is evaluating a number of existing technologies that would enable the prototype system to work, including the image recognition service powered by IBM Watson capabilities, available through the IBM Blue Mix development platform.   As seen by the diagram above, the prototype could utilize the AI in the smart kitchen service to track a family's existing food inventory, map that inventory to meal plans, and communicate this to the user through a messaging service.  

The larger goal of the project is to help reduce food waste by helping families better plan meals. According to the project's Wiki, "By building the SmartKitchen service that provides meal options based on existing food inventory, we will provide more options for meals and therefore make it easier for people to have more family dinners."

The team, which is conducting weekly milestones through what it calls sprints, is still evaluating how to test the technology (it has discussed working with appliance partners) as well as what the name of the service would be.

The project team is led by Tamara Hill, a software engineer at Mozilla who has previously held positions such as Principal Technical Architect with AT&T and owns three US patents.

Our Take: The project is interesting for a number of reasons.  First: it's the first open source project we've seen for a smart kitchen software platform, in contrast with other initiatives such as those from Innit or SideChef, which are proprietary platforms.

Second: The platform's main focus of delivering AI-powered insights and services is an indication that bots are coming to the home and the kitchen is an obvious use case.

Finally, the existence of this project is a validation of the growing importance of the connected kitchen as part of IoT and smart home.

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