GE, Sharp Show Their Smarts with Kitchen Favorites

GE Appliances’ next-gen Kitchen Hub boasts a microwave oven with an internal camera and added smarts.

By Alan Wolf, YSN

As in recent years, last week’s sprawling CES tech exhibition in Las Vegas offered more than its fair share of home appliances. And, given the show’s consumer electronics roots, it should come as no surprise that the accent was on connectivity at the booths of white-goods brands.

Two vendors in particular, GE Appliances and Sharp Home Electronics Co. of America (SHCA), have now imbued popular products from their respective lines with additional IoT (Internet of Things) capabilities.

For GE, the focus was on the latest iteration of its two-year-old Kitchen Hub, a connected over-the-range, interactive video display and ventilation system. No longer just resembling an OTR microwave oven, it now features a built-in microwave – along with an internal camera and Artificial Intelligence (AI) computer vision cooking technology.

The integrated AI-powered process, which will be accessible to all camera-equipped GE appliances later this year, will help home chefs select a recipe based on available ingredients, detect the “doneness” of food items, raise or lower oven temperature, and note any missing ingredients, the company said.

“Our goal was to integrate industry-leading technologies into the cooking space that take the consumer experience to the next level,” said Shawn Stover, Executive Director, SmartHome Solutions for GE Appliances. “The next-gen Kitchen Hub offers solutions to your meal planning dilemma, making life easier and better at home.”

The product is expected to ship in late 2020.

Meanwhile, in its first major showing at CES in over four years, Sharp showcased its recently extended suite of kitchen appliances, many now featuring Wi-Fi connectivity. For example, its 24-inch IoT Microwave Drawer Built-In Oven, introduced last fall with an MSRP of $1,750, is Alexa-enabled and integrates with a Sharp Kitchen mobile app to enable its smart features.

Similarly, its new IoT SuperSteam+ Built-in Wall Oven is IoT-enabled to respond to voice commands, control basic operations through a SideChef mobile app, and automatically set cooking time and temperature via smart recipe guides (including 24 on-board recipes and another 43 available through the app). The oven is expected to reach showrooms in February and is priced to hit a $3,200 retail.

Explained SHCA President Jim Sanduski, “The last 12 months have been a time of tremendous innovation for us as we continued to leverage our cooking heritage, which spans more than half a century, in the development of modern, connected products that double down on our promise to deliver Simply Better Living to consumers.”

Look for complete coverage of CES’ appliance intros in the February issue of YourSource.