Project SmartKitchen Wants to Smarten Your Dinner Menu

pixabay photo by sneeze shared under a Creative Commons (CC0) license

pixabay photo by skeeze
shared under a Creative Commons (CC0) license

Last June, we were excited to get the go ahead to explore our project of passion, “Project SmartKitchen“. The connected devices group at Mozilla is taking a “lean” approach to developing products that solve consumer problems. Because many of us find ourselves in the same, stressful situation each day, wondering “What’s for dinner?”, we chose to start in the kitchen.

As a busy parent, I get asked this question on a daily basis by at least four people. It really irritates me when I don’t have an answer. It’s even more irritating when I know I have tons of food in my kitchen (from that last trip to Costco!) and can’t come up with anything to feed my family. The initial concept of Project SmartKitchen is really about uncovering the many recipes that are ready and waiting to be cooked in your kitchen with the ingredients on hand. I know that there are many more exciting and tasty combinations of my current kitchen inventory than I can come up with in my head.

Another goal of the project is reducing waste. We want to explore ways to use the food in your kitchen before it spoils. In the United States alone, 30-40% of the food supply is wasted.1 It’s not only our hard earned money that we are throwing away, but it’s also unsustainable for the planet.

Our initial research seems to point to the fact that people typically kind of know what’s in their kitchen, but they don’t have creative ideas or time to come up with meals. Fussy eating and dietary restrictions were also listed as barriers to making meals.

What's for Dinner?

Project SmartKitchen: What’s for dinner use case.

What we are focusing on right now is really validating that people will be interested to use a solution that provides recipes based on existing inventory. We are doing this via Facebook concept ads, a YouTube Video, and surveys. In parallel, the technical team is exploring image recognition to understand what percentage of food items we can recognize via this method. We may explore other avenues as well including barcode and RFID. The clear technical challenge of this project is to identify the inventory.

Stay tuned as we update further with our technical challenges and our concept video (coming soon).

Footnote: [1]

1 response

Post a comment

  1. Connie Hills wrote on :

    I love the idea of a smart kitchen and will be the FIRST to buy it!
    Only yesterday I was at grocery store to purchase items for burritos. I couldn’t remember if I had retried beans or chopped jalapeños so purchased again “just in case”!
    Not only did I find both items crammed in my cupboards but 2 of each! Say nothing about the gross chaos in my refrigerator!
    DON’T WE ALL HAVE SAME CHALLENGES? Keeping organized when families and careers take priority? SIGN ME UP! GET MANUFACTURED BY CHRISTMAS SO I CAN PURCHASE AS GIFTS!


Post Your Comment