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Appliance manufacturer GE has updated its 27-inch over-the-range Kitchen Hub with a built-in microwave, an internal camera, and new smart home features.

The company says this is the first products of its kind on the market.

“Our goal was to integrate industry-leading technologies into the cooking space that take the consumer experience to the next level,” says 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.”

Offering a 27-inch smart touch screen, the 1.9-cubic-foot microwave and ventilation combo is designed to easily fit in the space above a range. Consumers can use cameras to interact with friends and family, snap and share their culinary dishes, and determine when their meals are done while viewing the inside of the oven from their couch. And if cooking isn’t entertaining enough, the Kitchen Hub Micro provides access to apps, such as Netflix and Spotify. “The addition of the microwave into the next gen Kitchen Hub allows the user a full-service kitchen experience,” the company says.

Addition to the built-in microwave, the GE Kitchen Hub now has an additional third camera inside the oven that’s integrated into a first-of-its-kind Artificial Intelligence computer vision cooking technology. The AI technology will help the home chef select a recipe based on available ingredients detected by a camera, assist in detection of doneness of food items, raise or lower oven temperature, and note any missing ingredients.

“GE Appliances’ integrated AI powered computer vision technology will assist families with the planning and making of meals, while also utilizing ingredients before they spoil,” says the appliance company, which is now part of the HaierGroup. “American families spend hours a week trying to plan meals and waste 20 percent of the food they buy, equating to roughly $800 per year in waste. The AI powered computer vision technology helps already busy families use the ingredients on hand to quickly create meal options.”

The next gen Kitchen Hub is loaded with next-gen features:

  • Built-in Google Assistant allows owners to create grocery lists, plan meals, search the internet for answers or even control the thermostat Access to thousands of recipes through SideChef, as well as guided cooking features and precision cooking capabilities.
  • Live video chat functionality with multiple camera angles, including a forward-facing lens, so owners can have video calls.
  • An overhead cooktop-facing camera and ample task lighting make it easy to share the latest culinary masterpiece on social media.
  • A camera located inside the oven allows cooks to check in on their food either from the Hub or their smart phones.
  • Access to calendars and schedules streamlines organization and efficient household management.
  • The unit permits connectivity to other smart home devices, such as temperature control, lighting systems and cameras, and the ability to access and control a variety of productivity and smart home apps using the Kitchen Hub. The Kitchen Hub will also be compatible with Z-Wave products.
  • It will also allow interoperability with other connected appliances including GE, Café, Monogram, GE Profile and Haier brand washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, wall ovens, cooktops, ranges, microwaves, air conditioners, water filtration systems and water softeners

GE says the Hub uses the SmartHQ platform, a proven smart appliance operating system that is global, open and secure, with virtually endless interoperability possibilities. “The open platform enables simple connectivity with other smart home products—even outside of the kitchen—and provides a future-proof solution that is easily updated as technology evolves,” the brand says. The dynamic platform allows the ongoing addition of product updates and upgrades, ensuring users can take advantage of new features and functionalities to maximize the value of their smart appliances.”