June Intelligent Oven from June Life is a “smart” countertop oven that promises to cook restaurant-quality meals practically by itself. They insist June Oven cooks at the perfect temperature (thanks to a built-in digital thermometer), can cook everything from 12” pizzas to roasts (thanks to its 1.0 cubic foot capacity), and can be remotely observed and controlled (thanks to a built-in HD camera the June app for your smartphone). The result, they claim, will be a perfectly cooked meal that needs little input from the user, aside from putting it in the June Oven and closing the door.
What’s the Big Deal About a “Smart” Oven?
Smart ovens are part of a larger trend in electronic and household appliances called the Internet of Things or IoT. Essentially, these are devices are all able to connect to a network, “talk” to each other, and be controlled remotely. The idea is that these will make ordinary devices like toasters, refrigerators, automobiles, etc. be more efficient, accurate, and will provide a host of services engineers have yet to dream of. By the year 2020, it is estimated there will almost 50 billion smart devices connected via IoT.
Ok, So What’s So Cool About June Intelligent Oven?
Well, lots of things… at least according to the press releases and fawning articles from CNET, Wired, and Digital Trends. Currently, however, the June Oven exists only on paper and in demo videos. It’s expected to be mass-produced in spring 2016.
The biggest things they’re hyping about it is the inclusion of a 2.3GHz Quad Core NVIDIA Processor (about the same as a high-end iPad), an HD video camera, 5-inch touchscreen, digital scale, and Wi-Fi connection.
They claim these components will allow you to place items inside the June Intelligent Oven and it will automatically “know” what type of food it is (it’s said to have been trained to recognize 15 categories of food). Then, June will allegedly be able to set the proper cooking time based on the weight. June Oven is said to be able to toast, bake, roast, or broil.
(Sorry, it doesn’t slice, dice, or julienne.)
Then, owners of a June Oven can watch their food cook in real-time anywhere they are via their smart phone and be notified when it’s ready.
Cookie Monster approved!
One of the cool things June Oven is said to do is be able to gage the temperature of the inside of a chicken and then at the right time turn up the heat so that the outside is nice and crispy while the inside stays tender and juicy.
June says their Intelligent Oven was designed by Robert Brunner, the guru behind the look of the Mac Powerbook and will be made from top quality material: stainless steel interior, triple-glazed thermal glass, and carbon-fiber heating elements. The manufacturers state this will allow June Intelligent Oven to heat up in seconds, yet remain cool to the touch outside; they add June Oven is also really easy to clean.
They call it a “computer that cooks”.
June Intelligent Ovens add that it will be fully customizable so busy parents can cook their favorite meals with a push of a button. Don’t have ideas of what to make? No problem – June says it comes with lots of recipes you can follow. It will also suggest meals based on how busy your calendar is and generate a shopping list based on what you want to cook; however, these features appear to be available via the June app and not specifically built in to the machine.
Ok, So What’s the Downside to the June Oven?
Well, it’s not very big – just 1.0 cubic inches, enough they say to cook a 12.5” pizza (the testing team specifically tried this) but not enough to cook a Thanksgiving turkey. The June Oven exterior measures 22”x13”x18” and its other tech specs are listed here.
You could also say it’s just a very fancy toaster oven. (This does have its advantages for small kitchens.) Then there’s the expected price, which is more akin to an expensive built-in oven.
Also, it doesn’t exist yet. A Wired reporter receiving a personal demo of a beta model noted it “crashed spectacularly” when baking cookies, although he admits this is very common when products are in the testing phase.
And, in a nightmare scenario, the June Intelligent Oven could possibly become self-aware and decide you’ve been getting too fat and refuse to cook or let you have the food, a la 2001: A Space Odyssey.
“I’m sorry, Dave. I can’t allow you to eat that.”
Okay, the last point is highly unlikely. But another downside is that an intelligent machine like this may simply take the “joy” out of cooking.
Who are the Geeks Behind June Intelligent Oven?
June Life is the name of the company behind the June Intelligent Oven, insinuating that they may be creating other smart “life enhancing” products in the future. It was co-founded by Matt Van Horn (famous for creating the “Digg” button) and Nikhil Bhogal, who worked as an engineer at Apple on the original iPhone all the way through the iPhone 5, perfecting its camera.
Both of them are also self-proclaimed foodies – Matt says he loves to cook lemon garlic salmon. The two met while working at a social networking company called Path and allegedly bonded over a late-night brainstorm where they fused their passion for cooking with their love of technology.
Together, they left Path to start June and formed a 22-member team of fellow geeks who worked at FitBit, Nest, and GoPro. (And YOU? June says they are hiring engineers, with a desire to test chocolate cookie recipes listed as a “plus”.)
One of the perks?
June Intelligent Oven also states Michelin-star chef Michael Mina serves as advisor and showed the team how food is prepared at fancy restaurants. “This technology is redefining the everyday oven,” Chef Mina says on the June Intelligent Oven Website.
Ok, I Get It. So How Much Is June Oven Going to Cost?
$1495 – but, hey this includes free shipping!
Early adopters, tech nerds, or techno-chefs can reserve their June Oven right now for a $95 deposit, with the remaining $1400 due in spring 2016. Start putting away those bitcoins!
June Intelligent Oven Legal Stuff
Since you are buying June Oven essentially on a promise from the company, there is a lot of legalese as to what to expect.
First, June can cancel your pre-order and issue a refund at any time for any reason. You can also cancel any time before shipment and receive a refund of your $95.
Once June Intelligent Oven is shipped, however, no refunds or returns will be allowed; June Oven will come with a 1-year warranty.
June Intelligent Oven Referral Credit
If you pre-order a June Intelligent Oven, they are trying to sweeten the pot (so to speak) by offering a referral of $100 credit for every friend that pre-orders from your special link. There is no limit to the number of referral bonuses you can earn, although you won’t get one if a customer cancels their order. (In the Terms and Conditions, they state a referral bonus of “up to $100” so there appears to be a little wiggle room as to how much you will actually receive.)
June Intelligent Oven Arbitration Agreement
In addition, when you purchase the June Oven, you are agreeing to resolve any disputes you may have with the company outside of the court system. This means you waive the right to a trial by jury or the ability to join a class action lawsuit and instead to agree to arbitration by an independent third party. While the upside of these types of agreements is that they tend to be quicker and less of a hassle for both parties, some consumer advocates feel that forced arbitration clauses like these prevent consumers from suing against fraud and generally limits their options for recourse.
Bottom Line: Is June Intelligent Oven a Revolutionary Product You Should Own?
June Life has certainly put a lot of effort into the design and marketing of their Intelligent Oven, and writing this has made us hungry! We both love (and somewhat fear) the idea when this technology is available on a mass scale.
Right now, as we mentioned, there are no models available outside of June’s laboratory so how it’s going to actually fare with real people is still a big question mark.
But we’ll go over the pros and cons as we see them.
- You will likely be the very first on your block to own a June Oven, so you can officially call yourself an Early Adopter.
- If you convince 150 of your friends to buy one, you could possibly get your June Oven for free.
- You can watch your cookies melt via your smartphone.
- It doesn’t exist yet.
- It’s as expensive as a fancy built-in oven.
- It will hold a tray of cookies or a large pizza, but that’s about it.
- There are no refunds after you buy it.
Alternatives to June Intelligent Oven
There are several toaster-sized “smart ovens” that already exist. The Breville Smart Oven is also expensive, but at $249 it’s still a lot cheaper than the June. OK, it doesn’t have Wi-Fi or an HD camera, but does have a reasonable amount of “smart” features, mainly presets, and cooks food quickly and evenly. (However, CNET states that the Panasonic Flash Xpress is just as good but $100 less to buy.)
What we’re trying to say is: the IoT is indeed lurking around the corner. Soon, there will be plenty of these “intelligent” appliances that have the potential to make our lives easier. Right now, to be on the cutting edge of this technology with the June Intelligent Oven, it’s gonna cost you a lot of money. So unless you too are a Silicon Valley geek that loves pizza and/or cookies, we suggest holding off at least until it ships.