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IFA 2023: Food recognition - an interview on Siemens' new directions on the oven market

IFA 2023: Food recognition - an interview on Siemens' new directions on the oven market

3 min

Siemens unveils the first IQ700 oven with automatic food recognition: Artificial intelligence makes baking, roasting and braising easier. At market launch, the networked appliance will be able to identify around 40 different dishes, and updates will steadily expand this number. All consumers have to do is put the dish in the oven, close the door and give a final "OK". Clemens Hepperle, Product Owner for Oven Cooking in the Europe region, explains in an interview exactly how this works.

Hi Clemens, please introduce yourself briefly 
For several years now, I have been working as a program manager on the portfolio of digital solutions for cooking with our fantastic ovens. The ovens in our iQ700 range already offer great possibilities for achieving excellent cooking results quickly and easily with the help of innovative technologies. Consistently geared to the needs of our consumers, it is my job to continuously develop the solutions around sensor technology, artificial intelligence, the Home Connect app and voice control. 
What exactly is automatic food recognition? 
Using artificial intelligence (AI) and the oven's built-in camera, the oven can automatically detect what needs to be prepared and directly suggest the right oven settings to achieve excellent cooking results. A real relief and shortcut for our consumers. 
What is special about the iQ700 oven range in terms of consumer orientation? 
Since the beginning, the development and marketing of the iQ700 range has been strictly geared towards understanding our consumers as best as possible and translating this into fascinating solutions that are relevant in everyday life. To this end, we gathered feedback from more than 20,000 consumers during the project phase - with feedback from a wide range of countries. One focus, for example, was the user interaction & operability of the ovens with the TFT touch displays available in different sizes. In addition, since the new series has been available, we have been closely monitoring customer feedback, reviews and test results in order to continuously incorporate improvements. Where possible, we then also incorporate these improvements directly into updates to our device software, so that devices already on the market also benefit from the improvements.   
How does food recognition work via Home Connect and what extra functions are there? 
The built-in camera in the upper left corner of the oven takes a picture of your dish when it is placed in the oven. Thanks to the artificial intelligence (AI) food recognition, the oven automatically knows what you want to cook. It immediately suggests the program that leads to perfect cooking results, taking into account the oven's special functions. For example, when our consumers put a pizza in the oven, the oven recognizes it and directly suggests the program with browning sensor, the direct path to the individually perfect baking result. At the beginning, the oven recognition will be able to recognize about 40 dishes. It is planned to provide the function as a software update for our customers when their device is connected to Home Connect. Likewise, the scope of recognized dishes is also to be expanded over time. A real added value is that the device remains "up to date". Even for ovens without a built-in camera, there is the option of getting to the right program suggestion with the help of the Oven Assistant in the Home Connect app. This is how we make cooking easier for our consumers with the different variants of our new series.  
What does AI mean in food recognition: 

Like humans, the system learns from experience and needs to see many images of different types of food. Therefore, we showed the AI system images of different variations for each food category. With this variety of training data, the AI can generalize how to handle the foods that consumers put in their ovens. 
To what extent does this new function make life easier for users? 
We know from studies that many of our consumers often use the standard oven settings, such as 180° hot air. They are unsure how they can make better use of the various functions of their oven to achieve even better cooking results. With oven recognition, this is greatly simplified. It’s now quick and easy for the consumers to find the ideal oven setting or automatic program for their dish without further searching or thinking. A time-saver and very easy to operate on the large TFT touch display.  
What is the innovation or special feature? 
The new feature simplifies cooking for a variety of dishes, especially in combination with the other sensor and AI-based functions - such as the baking sensor, the meat probe or Individual Browning. Simply place the dish in the oven, start the suggested program, remove it without looking further into the oven at the end of the program and - enjoy. A real relief and a great user experience! 

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BSH all over the world.

BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, with a total turnover of some EUR 15.6 billion and 62,000 employees in 2022, is a global leader in the home appliance industry. The company’s brand portfolio includes eleven well-known appliance brands like Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau and Neff as well as the ecosystem brand Home Connect and service brands like Kitchen Stories. BSH produces at 40 factories and is represented in some 50 countries. BSH is a Bosch Group company.