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The Visible Value Blog

OEM Technology – The Smart(er) Kitchen

Posted by Garry Reichert

January 4, 2017 at 8:00 AM


For the past 30 years the bar code scanner has revolutionized meal prep.

In millions of supermarkets and grocery stores around the world, all the wonderful ingredients of your next meal are quickly and accurately scanned at the register ensuring better stocking and inventory positions for the operators and faster, more reliable check-out and pricing for shoppers.

But we see a future where bar code scanning plays a role not just in the ingredients you bring home to your kitchen, but in the preparation of the meal itself. Welcome to the smart(er) kitchen! 

You see a simple bar code scan can link to thousands of bits of data. At the grocery store, the scan can register the brand, SKU, in-stock date, regular price, discount applied, inventory balance and a myriad of other data that ensures your shopping cart will always be filled with exactly what you want at exactly the right price

But what if in the kitchen, that same simple bar code scan could initiate exact and precise cooking instruction that would ensure a perfectly prepared meal. Sound like culinary science fiction? Actually we’re cooking up that a reality today.

Imagine an oven or microwave embedded with a simple bar code reader. Prepared meals and foods can contain embedded cooking instructions that - with a simple scan of the label - are then executed with the utmost precision. Think of it as a recipe that’s followed precisely with the simple scan of bar code label.

You love Dover Sole with lemon sauce but it’s nearly impossible to heat it properly without drying out the delicate fish. Enter the bar code chef…

Scan the frozen lemon sole packaging and place the meal in the smart oven. The scan then activates a series of commands programmed to create the perfectly prepared dish.

  • The oven begins with 4 minutes in defrost mode to soften the fish without cooking its delicate consistency.
  • Then the scan instructs the oven to switch to heating mode for 3 minutes at half power to slowly warm the Sole.
  • To ensure the right consistency and flavor, the scan activates steam cooking for the last 2 minutes of cooking to infuse moisture into the dish.
  • In the last 30 seconds, the scan increases heating strength to ensure the dish is piping hot.

After 9 minutes… Voila. The perfectly prepared Dover Sole is ready after a four-step cooking process activated with a simple half second scan. 

Culinary art and science come together with the power of bar code scanning in the kitchen.  A bar code can make the recipe book obsolete… and turn the most incapable cook into a master chef.

From smart coffee makers to smart refrigerators to smart ovens, we see unlimited possibilities to unleash technology for the power of the cooking.

If your company is an innovator or disruptor in smart kitchen and culinary technologies, consider Zebra as your OEM partner. Every day we’re whipping up new solutions that make technology taste great for your customers… and your bottom line.

For more information on the advantages of working with Zebra OEM Technology visit www.zebra.com/oem.

Topics: North America, OEM