IT TENDS TO smell good inside June headquarters, a four-story, green and gold San Francisco townhouse. The real office is the kitchen, where the 22-person team has spent the last year developing what it calls ?The June Intelligent Oven,? a $1,495 connected appliance that will quite literally cook your food for you.
It looks like a big toaster oven, with room to cook a whole turkey. (The size was picked because a 12.5-inch pizza fits perfectly, as did all of the best-selling cooking sheets the team bought for testing.) On one hand, it?s designed to be a better oven. Its large glass door makes it easy to see inside, where the carbon-fiber heating elements work with convection fans to cook much more quickly and evenly than your average oven, and the steel shelves are easy to remove and clean. It?s a rounded steel device, and though it feels weird to call an oven beautiful, it?s beautiful. It?s simple and sleek, with no buttons, no garish fans.
While you use it like any other oven, the June?s goals are much loftier, and much smarter.
As co-founder Matt Van Horn explains the interface?a touchscreen and stainless steel knob on the glass door, which has been carefully engineered to not get hot?he pops in six chocolate chip cookies. It?s June?s own recipe, one they?ve been carefully developing. Van Horn and co-founder Nikhil Bhogal have remarkable Silicon Valley bona fides: Both worked for Path and before that at Apple, where Bhogal invented a lot of the software you see in the iPhone?s camera. The once-ubiquitous Digg Button? Van Horn?s doing. Now, these engineers are spending their time tweaking flour mixes. Bhogal can quote, off the top of his head, the difference in cook time for chocolate chip and sugar cookies.
All of this has been programmed into the new oven. Using what amounts to a fancy meat thermometer, along with scales in each of the June?s four feet and an internal camera, the oven can figure out what you?re cooking, how hot it is, and how much it weighs. And if you know those three things, you can cook almost anything. Want a medium rare steak?
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