How to Stay Sane on Thanksgiving
As we prepare to @ mention the airlines about long lines and gather with our Facebook friends & family, in real life, we are thankful for one thing: Instagramming the food! This, puts a ton of pressure on the host.
While there’s no replacing the classic grease stained cookbook — you can’t save your page with a ribbon on an iPad, the wealth of cooking technology can save you from burning your prized stuffing, help plan your shopping list and discover new recipes.
Take a Trip to the App Store
Cook and prolific writer Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything app, is a great resource, and an easy way to have his entire cooking bible at hand. Substitutions will help you deal with not having buttermilk handy or how to veganize dishes. Bon Appétit’s Thanksgiving Manual app has the neat feature of a Turkey timer, to ensure you won’t burn the bird. And the Dirty Kitchen Timer, allows you to keep track of five different dishes at once to ensure nothing gets forgotten.
Season Your Inner Chef
SideChef, an app launching in January, lets you handpick recipes, follow chefs, get step-by-step directions to follow along — so you don’t have to stress about the cooking. The company recently received funding via Kickstarter and a write-up in Business Insider; we got in touch with Founder Kevin Yu, to see what the forthcoming app is all about and why we should pay attention.
1. What was the motivation for starting the app? What difficulties have you encountered so far?
The truth is that I decided to cook dinner to impress a girl, and it didn’t go well! I only made a few simple mistakes, but you can ruin an entire dish just by forgetting one ingredient. I thought it would be cool to make an app that would guide people through the entire cooking process, and make it more fun. Our biggest challenge thus far has been prioritizing our many ideas for how to make cooking more accessible and make SideChef a streamlined user experience. SideChef is a step by step cooking app, plus it’s a real community, very social, and makes it easy to share recipes and ideas.
2. How did you source the recipes and create content for the app
We have partnered with 25 talented food bloggers such as Feed Me Phoebe, Cookie & Kate, and Edible Perspective. We’re going to launch with over 200 beautiful, easy to follow recipes. We are also partnering with culinary schools and cooking teachers around the country to offer them and their students the chance to share their creativity and talent with a wide audience. Going forward, our recipes will be user generated, so anyone can log on and use our recipe upload tool to share their best recipes with their friends and the community. We are excited to see new talent emerge and for people to get creative.
3. Who do you see as competitors and how does SideChef stand out?
SideChef has simple step by step voice-guided cooking instructions, complete with photos. There are automatic timers as well, so you don’t need to worry about leaving something in the oven. Apps like Panna, allrecipes.com, and Jamie Oliver’s app provide recipes; SideChef is a platform designed to promote our community’s creations and knowledge base. Since users can upload their own recipes, they can follow friends, and ask recipe creators questions while they are cooking. Plus, they can easily share pictures of their creations! We want to create an interactive community along with a super helpful cooking app — that’s what makes SideChef unique.
Our friends over at KITE have created a platform and mobile app that makes it easier to discover, evaluate, and engage with emerging technologies, platforms, and media. They’ve been exploring the Food Technology sector recently, curating a selection of some of the best food startups around. Take a look at one of the standouts:
Blossom Coffee, a San Francisco-based hardware startup, has assembled a team of NASA, Tesla and Apple engineers to build to the world’s most advanced coffee machine.
Their prototype machine, Blossom One, comes equipped with a state of the art brew chamber that has patented precision temperature control technologies. The machine is also wifi-enabled and comes complete with a camera that scans QR codes. It can download brew recipes optimized for the specific beans you’re using, allowing you to make that coffee shop cup of coffee every morning in the kitchen.
If you’re interested in exploring other standouts in this sector, KITE has highlighted over $125,000 in free Food Tech pilot programs offered by companies through their platform, available for us to secure for our clients.Tune in for our next update from KITE, where we’ll continue to highlight leading startups. To learn more about KITE, visit http://getKITE.co.
The Remix to Ignition
Last week the Digital Media elite gathered for Business Insider’s Ignition conference, cementing more than a few industry trends: wearables are officially the next big thing in mobile, Google Glass might not catch on quite like anticipated, and teens are very over Facebook. We were lucky enough to join in on the action and thought we would share a few highlights.
A New Paper Route
We all know the way we consume news has drastically changed, but now the tectonic media plates are shifting yet again, and an even newer crop of providers are popping up. At Ignition, we were introduced to Circa. The news app that allows users to follow specific stories of interest in short bursts of content produced by Circa’s editors. Another newcomer is NowThis News, straight from Huffington Post’s founders. The site is turning TV news into bite-size internet content — basically just relevant videos paired with killer headlines. Vice also broke the story about their upcoming news channel launching in partnership with YouTube and an undisclosed “big tech company.” We’re interested to see what else Vice has planned, not sure they can top the#basketballdiplomacy story.
"The Internet of Things (or IoT)" where objects typically not connected are now wired together through a digital medium. The IoT allows us to control our coffeemakers with wristbands and household locks with our phones, thanks to startups like August. It’s convenient since people (including us) are attached to their phones almost 24 hours a day, in bed, the bathroom — everywhere. In the spirit of IoT, Ignition hosted an interesting panel on the topic, featuring August, SmartThings, and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Between Qualcomm’s “digital sixth sense” product and SmartThings’ home monitoring system — your life is now controlled by a kilobyte.
The Man, The Myth
Elon Musk, the tech world’s equivalent of Thomas Edison, keynoted the conference — we were mesmerized by his humble demeanor and frankness about his past. Musk provided insight into how he views success and failure — he described being at the point of nervous breakdown when working on Tesla and SpaceX simultaneously; it’s not all genius breakthroughs. He announced that despite his initial assertion of not having the bandwidth to build Hyperloop; if no one else steps up to the plate, he’ll build the prototype by himself: “It would be like Space Mountain but when you get out you’re somewhere else.” He also defended recent Tesla S accidents; all in all, a flooring experience — we’re inspired.
With a Little Help, the Customer Can be King
A high Klout score is cool and all, but how can a brand turn a person’s social sphere into revenue? This week’s radar looks at a group of companies who are improving how customers experience brands. Long gone are the days when fans sat idly while brands bombard them with messaging — people are more jaded than ever. These platforms help provide an edge to brands in our clouded landscape.
Video - Realtime
According to LookAlive Labs, “Video is now a two way street.” Let’s take a step back what does that actually mean? Their newest innovation, ReVideo is currently changing the way users consume video content, with a customized experience. By exporting videos as individual parts; dynamic graphics, html5 video and analytics, LookAlive Labs is able to alter the content based on realtime data. This has huge implications for advertisers, for instance changing the product featured in a commercial based on the current weather conditions. Content tailored specific to the consumer and time? We’re definitely into this.
Give It A Go
Struggling to engage with fans and mobile audiences? Plyfe, An automated marketing and rich media platform that uses fun mechanics to help brands understand and influence audiences wherever they are. The participation takes place via branded content, often games or quizzes living online, mobile, and across social networks. Brands track exactly how fans behave and what their preferences are. Working with a number of Fortune 500 companies, and even named to Forbes 100 companies to watch list themselves in 2013. We may have a slight personal bias,Co-Founder and CMO, Jeff Arbour rocked gamification panel last month.
The Cool Kids
Influencer is a word thrown around all too often in our industry — but how do we know how much impact these so-called influencers actually have? Fluencr takes out all the guess work for brands. Officially on the market in January 2014, the platform determines the social impact of fans by measuring the social buzz created for the brand. The kicker is that participants receive rewards based on how well they represent the brand in comparison with others on their social media channels.
We’ve recently partnered up with KITE, a new platform and mobile app that makes it easier to discover, evaluate, and engage with emerging technologies, platforms, and media. They’ve been looking into Rewards & Loyalty sector recently and organizing a list of the best startups helping brick-and-mortars reach the more connected consumer
Belly, a universal smartphone loyalty card, is one of the highlights of KITE’s Rewards & Loyalty list. Belly clears the rewards card clutter in a customer’s wallet, lets retailers push deals to valued patrons, and helps companies create engaging, personalized social media and email campaigns.
Belly has seen great success in 18 major markets across the United States and recently expanded its reach through partnerships with national chains like McDonald’s, 7-Eleven, and Dominos.
Tune in for our next update from KITE, where we’ll continue to highlight exciting, up-and-coming startups. To learn more about KITE, visit http://getKITE.co.