Headline Aug 15, 2015/ ''' COMPUTER'S COOKING[S] '''


AT ASIA'S CONSUMER ELECTRONIC SHOW last month, Moley Robotics showed off its automated kitchen.

For now, the system is only a very sophisticated mimic.

It has to record human chef's actions, then it can cook the meal if the ingredients are precisely placed in predetermined spots, all within the reach of the arms.

In a way, it's not a huge advance over  Dick Van Dyke's mechanical kitchen in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. 

But systems like this will get smarter and more flexible, using artificial intelligence to learn how to make meals and figure out where to find the ingredients.

Add up the various inventions that are in the works, and the robot cook strts looking like more than just a labor-saving daydream of a nerd with 10 kids. 

INVESTORS HAVE BEEN pouring money into  ''food tech'' startups the past couple of years.

Entrepreneurs are turning spicy phrases like  ''the new restaurant is no restaurant.''

And Stanford MBAs, applying the kind of spreadsheet thinking that they might use to improve the efficiency of a supply chain, are talking about how they're out to reduce our   ''time to meal''.

That all may sound a bit overheated, but to be fair, the technology of the of the meal hasn't profoundly changed since the introduction of the microwave oven in 1955. 

As data, artificial intelligence and robotics intersect in the home, the everyday meal is ripe for disruption.

These grand schemes to change the nature of cooking help explain some of the vertiginous valuations of recent food-tech companies.

Muncherry, for instance, lets customers enter freshly prepared meals using a mobile app. The chilled meals are delivered in about 30 minutes, then you can throw them in the microwave or refrigerate for later.

While that may sound as if it's barely more clever than pizza delivery, Muncherry just raised another $85 million, valuing the company at $300 million.

Startups with names like Blue Apron, DoorDash, HelloFresh and ChowNow are getting similarly large investments. 

In 2014, U.S. Food tech companies raised more than $30 billion, and India, Europe and China, have all become sizzling regions for food-tech startups.

If the end goal were just newfangled food delivery, the investment surge would look like bubble-driven investor looniess.

But remember Facebook was once an online college yearbook  -nobody knew it was going to change the nature of social circles.

Maybe some of these companies will bring about a similarly profound transformation in meals.

If you stir the pot a little, you can see how new technologies will come together to change cooking.

Take U.K.  -based company Whisk, it was started by Nick Holzherr, who is somewhat famous in the U.K. because he first pitched his idea on that country's version of the The Apprentice,  getting turned down by Donald Trump-ish host-

Lord Sugar, who huffed :
''Who could be bothered with it?''

Whisk, for now, is an app that automates shopping lists on your phone. A user can find a recipe online, throw it into Whisk and the app will add the items needed for the list.

You can refer to the list while at the grocery store, or in some markets use it to automatically order from a delivery service.

Behind that simple idea, Holzherr has a bigger one.

As Whisk gathers data about recipes, ingredients and user tastes, the company plans to develop a   ''food genome''    -a nod to Pandora's Music Genome Project that breaks down the traits of songs.

Holzherr says that once Whisk has data about food and user taste preferences, it can make matches   -like a food discovery service.

You might tell Whisk that you want to try a new Pakistani or Indian dish that's under 600 calories, and it should present a recipe geared to what knows you like.

The Honour and Serving of the latest ''Operational Research'' continues. Thank you for reading and for sharing with the rest of the world.

!WOW!  -wishes the Students of India its very best on their independence day. And see Ya all on the World Students Society.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Technology, Innovation and Inventions. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Bite & Byte ''

Good Night and God bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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