Coming back from CES at Las Vegas, I am very pleased with the overwhelming responses from the media and the public. The Instant Pot iPot was hailed as one of the “Fourteen Hot Products from 2014 CES” and one of “The Weirdest Tech Gadgets at CES 2014”. Techhive made an on spot video report, CNET has a more detailed review, Sound and Vision compared the iPot to a connected slow cooker, PurpleClover asked “Exactly How Smart Should Your Home Be?”, TechGlimpse put on a coverage, Homecrux drilled down to more details….
Not all of them get the details right. This is no surprise in exhibition halls crowded with tens of thousands of people and announcements of thousands new products. Some may see iPot being cool because it uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE, Bluetooth Smart or Bluetooth 4.0/4.1) to connect iPhone/iPad to the cooker. Well, that’s not the purpose. Here, I want to clarify the two design objectives of the iPot.
1. Solving the cooking consistency problem. Have you ever not been frustrated by failing to reproduce a cooking recipe!? The quality of cooked food out of Instant Pot is ultimately the most important thing to users. Cooking consistency is affected by many factors: food materials and their size/volume, cooking time, elevation and cooking process. A one-size-fit-all program (3 “sizes” in Instant Pot) can only go so far. To achieve the optimal result, we need a tailor-made cooking program for each recipe. Once this is done, undercooked short-ribs and beans or burnt oatmeal at the bottom will be history.
2. People want to use Instant Pot in many unique ways. To get a taste of the variety, let’s sample a few.
- Making germinated brown rice. Brown rice sprouts in warm water (38°C or 100°F) in 12~24 hours, producing unique nutty flavor and more complete amino acid. See the picture of germinated brown rice I made on right.
- Sous vide, Onsen Tamago (hot spring eggs), etc.
- Pasteurize milk at the lowest temperature (63°C or 145ºF) so all pathogens are killed but none of the good enzymes and nutrients are lost
- Pressure baking
- Decrystallize honey in the jar without destroying its health properties
- Sanitize baby bottles, pacifiers, pump pieces.
There is clearly a long tail of these use scenarios. If we add a button for each of these functions, the control panel will soon look like a keyboard. We’ll have to leverage something with a better user interface. A smartphone or tablet would spring right into our minds.
If you have any intriguing ways of using Instant Pot, please let us know. We’ll add them to the iPot. With iPot, the functionality is limitless.