LG keeps making its ovens smarter — not by building its own software, but by outsourcing the effort to startups. The company announced today that its 2019 smart ovens will now recognize pre-packaged meals from Tovala, a smart oven company based out of Chicago. Owners of LG’s 2019 smart ovens will be able to scan meals through Tovala’s app, then have their oven automatically move through the correct settings to cook them.
While multiple smart oven companies, like June and Brava, have built food recognition systems into their devices, the Tovala team is the only one to have launched a companion meal shipment service. The team creates meals every week, cooks and packages them, and then ships them to customers. It’s a big undertaking that’s clearly caught LG’s attention, which means Tovala will no longer be limited to selling its meals only to Tovala oven customers.
The Tovala oven, which is in its second generation, steams, bakes, toasts, and broils food automatically based on each meal. Tovala also recently started letting users scan Trader Joe’s frozen foods, but it’s unclear whether LG’s ovens will be able to handle those, too.
LG also has smart oven partnerships with the companies Drop, Sidechef, and Innit, which guide users through recipes using companion apps, voice assistants, and video instructions. It’s clear LG thinks connected cooking solutions are something people want, and it’ll seemingly keep adding partners to its roster instead of picking one winning solution.