Thankful for Embedded Systems in our Kitchens this Holiday Season

The holiday season is around the corner, which means we’ll be spending more time in the kitchen, especially during Thanksgiving when food is the epicenter of the festivities! Because the kitchen is considered a hub for many people as they cook and enjoy time with friends and family, is it easy to see why much of the new technology is focused on creating better cooking and living experiences in the home.

Smart Devices in the Kitchen

We are starting to see a lot more “smart devices” being adopted in the kitchen, allowing users to control or monitor appliances directly from their smart phone or tablet, creating easier and more advanced experiences. This new concept is possible using Internet of Things (IoT), which is essentially a way for devices to connect, communicate, and send data over a network. Embedded systems and IoT go in hand in hand; devices with smart technology contain computing abilities that allow IoT to efficiently carry out specific tasks. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of these smart gadgets that will be making their way into kitchens this holiday season.

Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo is a Bluetooth speaker that is becoming a fundamental gadget to many homes, as it provides users the ability to perform tasks with simple voice commands. In the kitchen, the Amazon Echo provides a world of new possibilities, from maintaining grocery lists, initiating timers, providing recipes, and even converting units for easier measuring.

This device functions using a variety of integrations including embedded systems, IoT, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Amazon Echo is packed with various systems including three circuit boards that control and react to various commands. Inside the speaker, one of the boards contains power and speaker drivers provided from Texas Instruments, while another board incorporates various control buttons, LED’s and volume. The third board hosts a Texas Instruments applications processor and integrated circuit (IC), a 4G flash memory device, random access memory (RAM), and a Qualcomm module that integrates all WLAN and Bluetooth functionality on a single platform.

These components are programmed to listen and respond accordingly to the user, but what’s special about this device is its ability to pull information from the cloud, and use this data to control the response that is relayed to the user. Here, we can see that IoT technology is vital to this design because it allows a community of devices to connect and interact with each other. AI is also vital to this device, as it allows for it to learn and essentially communicate endless information to people.

Samsung Smart Refrigerator

The Samsung Smart Refrigerator is an appliance that has been recently introduced. It has the standard functionality of a refrigerator, but with new “smart” abilities allowing people to connect and interact with the appliance in whole new ways. For instance, the Samsung Smart Refrigerator has a built-in touchscreen on one of the fridge’s doors. This feature provides users access to dozens of applications that can be accessed directly from the fridge or on a smart phone from a remote location. With this appliance, users can view family calendar updates, connect to favorite music stations, order groceries, and even access views of inside the fridge remotely using inside cameras, which is great to ensure grocery shopping goes smoothly in such hectic times.

Each technological component of the fridge incorporates embedded systems that allow it perform its intended task. Here, we see how the refrigerator incorporates touchscreens, sensors, cameras, and IoT technology to create an innovative design that create better experiences for those at home, even during the holidays when connecting with friends and family is most important.

June Oven

Another appliance that incorporates smart technology is the June oven. What makes this oven stand out is its ability to automatically recognize what is being put into the oven, and its vast library of preconfigured cooking profiles for various foods. The June oven can autonomously prepare meals using a variety of cooking methods such as baking, dehydrating, broiling, toasting, and air frying, to name a few - It even can cook a whole turkey to perfection.

The ability for the appliance to perform these tasks are all because of embedded systems. This oven is comprised of a 2.3-GHz quad-core NVIDIA processor controlling the peripheral devices through artificial intelligence. The various sensors from the thermometers check temperatures, while cameras mounted on the inside of the oven allow the appliance to recognize what is being cooked. The cooking profile settings are initiated through these inputs and can be monitored by the user easily through their smartphone. This system creates an easy experience for those looking to have a perfectly cooked meal each time.

Meater Smart Thermometer

While there are tons of thermometers on the market, a new thermometer has been introduced that is unlike any other – a wireless smart thermometer dedicated to monitoring temperatures of meat, perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday! This handy device connects to your smartphone through an app that acts as an interface to observe and control the thermometer outputs and comes pre-programmed with settings for numerous types of meat, the specific cut, and the desired cook based on preference. Users can simply place the thermometer inside the meat, cook using the desired cooking method, and from there can monitor the progress and exact time it is done cooking.

What makes this device function is the embedded systems incorporated into the design. Two temperature sensors perform measurements of the internal temperature of the meat and the ambient temperature of the oven or grill. The data from these sensors are read by the internal computer that can determine the doneness of the meat and then relay this information to the user’s phone using IoT technology.

Joule Sous Vide

The Sous Vide cooking is a cooking method that is becoming more popular, and now it’s an even easier process with a new device, called the Joule Sous Vide by ChefSteps. This specific sous vide is a smart device that is great for those looking to get a perfect cook on any meal from meats to vegetables. This sous vide is one of the smallest and compact on the market. This is because most of its controls and settings are controlled using a smartphone or tablet through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth components. From a smartphone, users can control settings like the type of food being cooked and how they want it prepared – the sous vide does the rest.

When using the Joule, foods are placed in a pot of water in an airtight bag, while the Joule is submerged underwater. The temperature sensors located inside the Joule constantly poll the temperature of the water, allowing the water heater to adjust accordingly. This process ensures that the water temperature stays consistent and doesn’t overcook the foods being cooked. The user can also monitor the doneness of the meal all because of the integration of embedded systems and IoT.

Tools for Working with Embedded Systems

With so many new devices and appliances coming out with “smart technology” we are opening up whole new ways in how we live our daily lives, especially in the kitchen for the holidays.  Embedded systems when paired with AI and IoT are making holidays easier and less stressful, meaning more time can be spent in the company of friends and family.  Here at Total Phase, we specialize in creating debugging and development tools for embedded systems, and even offer developers easy ways to help integrate IoT technology into their systems. Our tools include protocol analyzers and host adapters that support a wide range of protocols including I2C, SPI, USB, CAN, A2B, and eSPI. For a demo of how these tools can help with your projects, please contact sales@totalphase.com

 

To learn more about the integration of Embedded Systems and IoT, check out this article from our CEO, Gil Ben-Dov here or watch our video.

 

 

Looking for more information? Feel free to email us at sales@totalphase.com. You can also request a demo specific for your application.

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