Does your oven want to be on the Internet?

Dacor range
CC BY 2.0 Lloyd Alter

Lloyd Alter is visiting the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as a guest of Bosch, and is looking at how technology will change the way we live.

Dacor makes very expensive and lovely kitchen appliances; this little number, a double oven six burner range, clocks in at twelve thousand bucks. Part of that money is going to the android tablet that is built into the face of it, letting you download recipes, control the oven, play games while your dinner is cooking and do it all from your smart phone.

It is an odd mix of technologies; here you have a stove that is built to last for generations, with solid brass and steel components. I owned a Dacor electric range once; they are built to last. I replaced it with a gas range by Kitchenaid; it has electronic controls for the oven that are now dead. These technologies do not mesh well, without even bringing the Internet into the picture.

Somehow, mixing the heavy-duty last-forever quality of a Dacor with something as ephemeral as a tablet seems incongruous. They have two completely different expectations for how long they will last, how hard they will be used. Our Dacor had a lot of crevices and edges that were hard to clean, so the first thing I looked at was how the display was mounted. In fact it is in a frame where I could run my fingernails between the tablet and the stainless steel; this thing will be full of grease from the stove in weeks, and impossible to clean.

The wall oven, where the display is mounted above the oven instead of under a range top, doesn't have this problem. But still; there are a lot of things that will be improved as they join the Internet of Things. I am not sure that this is one of them.

Does your oven want to be on the Internet?
A high and gas range is built to last a lifetime. A tablet computer is not. Should they be married?

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