The 'Kitchen OS' space is heating up.
Today Drop announced a partnership with Bosch to integrate what it is calling its "kitchen operating system" with the Bosch Series 8 oven. The Series 8 oven features Bosch's Home Connect, the European appliance giant's home connectivity platform.
We chatted with Drop CEO Ben Harris about the news (see podcast below). The news is a first move in the company's transition from being a consumer-facing product company to one that focuses on creating software for third party appliance partners.
More details on the deal:
-Drop will start to de-emphasize its own consumer hardware as it transitions towards being an ingredient technology company for smart kitchen hardware manufacturers. Harris said the Drop Scale will become a "reference design" in a sense so hardware partners can understand how Drop technology works within the connected kitchen.
-In the near term the company will focus on integrating with existing smart appliance products, such as the Bosch Series 8. Long term, Harris sees bringing Drop's technology to newer appliances that feature more advanced sensor arrays such as smart fridges, etc.
-The Drop platform that it is now rolling out to partners is comprised of five pieces. The Drop kitchen OS "stack" is comprised of:
1. The app/UI which can be downloaded today in major app stores. While it is positioned today as a companion app for the Drop scale, from October forward it will be a general smart kitchen recipe and device management app
2. The "recipe model" - this is what Drop is calling a new approach to a "thousand year old" format. They've abstracted recipes to be machine readable and to work with various appliances. This is similar to what Innit has done with its own recipe platform.
3. Ingredient database - this database works with the recipe model and connected appliances to enable consumer-facing benefits such as nutritional information, alternative ingredient suggestions, etc.
4. The appliance model - this is the abstraction layer for appliances that enables the Drop recipe platform to work with various appliances to enable the app to control various parameters such as heat, time, humidity and more.
5. Insights - this is the analytics module that will give manufacturers information about consumer usage data.
Bottom line, this is an interesting piece of news for Drop and marks another entry into the increasingly competitive "kitchen OS" space. Others in this market include Innit, who is partnering with Whirlpool, and SideChef, who announced their intentions to work in creating a universal software layer for connected appliances in the spring. Mozilla is also working on an open source recipe bot to help provide some guidance in the kitchen.
If you want more details on the deal, listen to the podcast below (or subscribe to the Smart Kitchen Show in iTunes).