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Electrolux Inspiro intelligent oven - “auto-focus for chefs”

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March 19, 2008

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March 19, 2008 Electrolux is launching an important new oven called Inspiro - the first oven that automatically determines the right way to cook a dish to consistently achieve the desired result. A heat management program automatically selects the right heating mode based on the contents of the oven - the company is selling the technology by likening the way the Inspiro manages heat to the auto focus of the camera.

Rather than just measuring the air temperature with a thermometer and regulating it with a thermostat, the way a conventional oven operates, Inspiro uses sensors to calculate the precise combination of energy consumption and time needed to bring the food to the correct temperature. This is similar to the way cameras now automatically set aperture, exposure time and focus, depending on the light and what’s in the frame.

“When auto-exposure and auto-focus were new features on cameras, there was a lot of skepticism,” explains Hans Stråberg, CEO Electrolux. “But, with time, auto-focus has been accepted and today it is a standard feature. For the oven and for the camera, it is all about pushing one button to ensure a professional result.”

How does it work?

To cook a lamb joint, for example, select the category “roasting” via the touch control, then choose whether the joint should be rare, medium or well done. The oven indicates which level to put the tray on – in a cold oven. From that cold start, Inspiro calculates the energy consumption and time needed to raise the temperature of the meat to the desired level.

That information is then combined with its database of professional cooking techniques to calculate what combination of heating modes is required (top, bottom, side, hot air, or grill) to ensure the desired result. When the cooking sequence is finished, the oven stops, and alerts the chef that the food is ready.

“With Inspiro, Electrolux has managed to transfer professional cooking techniques into consumer homes, says German top chef Christian Mittermeier. “No other oven allows you to combine top, bottom, side, and grill for one dish without having to stop and reset the oven. I use Inspiro both at home and in my restaurant kitchen and I’m amazed at the precision of the cooking. For ordinary people it will be like having a private chef at home.” Inspiro can also operate like a conventional oven if selecting the manual mode.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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