IoT-Endowed Microwave Drawer Signals Sharp’s Connectivity Direction
Sharp has added another major salesfloor talking point to its latest built-in Easy Wave Open Microwave Drawer, now in its second iteration: IoT functionality.
Besides opening the drawer with a wave of the hand, consumers, with a swipe of a finger on a smartphone screen, can now control a bevy of functions on Model SMD2489ES – which has also garnered a CES 2020 Innovations Award for its IoT smarts.
“We’re fired up and excited,” Peter Weedfald, senior vice president of sales & marketing, Sharp Electronics Marketing Co. of America (SEMCA), told Dealerscope about both the honor, and the oven’s expanded capabilities. “It now not only includes the power to walk up to it and wave your hand and have it open, but with IoT added as an enhancement, you’re able to download the Sharp Kitchen App and command and control the SMD2489ES from it; you can set it and, with sensor cooking, receive a message when you’re in the next room that your food is ready.”
The Sharp Kitchen App smart features include the ability to choose Manual Cook or Smart Cook functions. For example, the chef can send cooking instructions manually to the oven and monitor how much time is left until cooking is done, and also receive an alert when time is up. Or, by using the Smart Cook function, the user can access built-in settings that are pre-programmed into the app and for multiple saved food groups. The app can save up to 18 favorite menu items for quicker access to favorites.
“The app means controllability,” said Jim Sanduski, president, Sharp Home Electronics Company of America, but just as important, it can be used by the cook to let the oven itself sense the proper time and temperature. “For example,” he explains, “if you want to cook potatoes, you select potatoes, the number of potatoes, and then the ‘recipe’ in the app knows the proper cooking algorithm to send to the microwave oven – power level, time, etc. Sensor cooking ensures that everything is cooked in the proper time at the proper temperature.”
“We’re marching out with our full built-in kitchen suite,” says Weedfald. “This is Phase One for us,” he noted, adding that other connected products are on the horizon.
The Easy Wave Open Microwave Drawer with IoT will be front and center at Sharp’s 2020 CES booth this year, along with a host of other appliance-related displays. Sanduski says the company booth will be similarly sized to the 2019 booth, but in a prime location near a well-trafficked area closer to one of the Central Hall Concourse entryways.
“Our presence, particularly in home appliances, will be bigger than last year,” Sanduski said. “We’re increasing from two major appliances vignettes to three in 2020… It represents an expansion of products we are showing on the floor. Last year, we had shown some product concepts to dealers that were not open to the floor, to get feedback. Now we’ve made progress over the past year in terms of realizing those products.” Visitors can also likely expect some news on the air purification product front, based on feedback garnered from visitors to last year’s booth, where multiple designs were exhibited.