Tovala is the oven you’ve always dreamed of. Or is it a microwave? Let’s call it a robotic smartphone-connected conventional oven. Tovala is counter-top appliance for your kitchen that aims to make cooking easier than ever before. When bundled with its subscription meal plan, users will be able to “cook chef-prepared meal perfectly.” Sounds pretty good huh? Kickstarter backers agree, already pledging nearly $250,000 to get this service off the ground…
We’ll look at the oven itself, first. Tovala weighs in at 26-pounds and is capable of fully preparing a meal in 30 minutes or less by steaming, baking, broiling or reheating. That number is based on meals from the subscription service only. Naturally, Tovala is smartphone connected, which allows users to control settings and temperature within a single degree.
There is quite a bit of technology built-in into the oven. It is packed with sensors that are constantly monitoring the cooking environment to ensure that the food is prepared as intended. Heat and humidity are the key measurables that help maintain an ideal cooking environment. The app will also provide alerts when your food is fully cooked.
Now to the subscription service and how this all ties together. Tovala offers “home-cooked meals by experienced chefs.” When a user-chosen meal arrives, it comes with a barcode on top that is scanned by a laser inside the oven. This process tells Tovala what kind of food it is and how to prepare it. The goal here is to take all of the guesswork out of preparing your food each night. Every meal is prepared in 10-30 minutes depending on the contents.
Tovala will initially offer a wide range of options designed for a variety of diets, including paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and others. Each week, users can hop on the free app and chose which meals they would like to enjoy. In the beginning, Tovala will offer four to six options and expand the menu as the subscriber base grows. Of course, the oven can be used for traditional food prep as well. Pricing per meal has yet to be announced.
So who would want Tovala? Well, the obvious fit is someone in the city that has little time and is tired of eating out regularly. Tovala offers “hand prepared” meals that range between 400-800 calories per serving. There are some obvious downfalls here though: primarily, this smart oven will take up a lot of room on your countertop. Even though it can be used as a standalone appliance, it is best paired with the subscription service. At $329, that’s a hefty investment in a new ecosystem that is still getting off the ground. If you pledge $239 today, you can receive a Tovala by the end of the year.
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