Adaptability, Security Leads to Recommendations to Partners like Electrolux
For some, cooking is joy. For others, it’s a direct route to burned pans.
Innit Inc. is making it easier for home chefs across the spectrum to enjoy reliably tasty meals. The app functions like a “GPS of the kitchen,” says Matteo Giavazzi, Director of Platform Partnerships. Home chefs get step-by-step direction from a familiar platform, but only as much as they need, says Principal Software Engineer Kevin Slattery, “We’ll be there when you need it. We’ll step back if you don’t.”
Being there also comes in the form of partnering with brands like Google, GE Appliances, LG Appliances, BSH (holding company behind brands like Bosch, Siemens, and Gaggenau), and most recently Electrolux to help create the smart, fully-connected kitchen.
While you don’t have to have IoT-connected devices to use Innit, they do give home chefs a strong edge, says Slattery. “If a professional chef is cooking a whole chicken, they’re going to go through maybe four, five, or six different steps while that chicken is in the oven. Through [our appliance partner’s] Wi-Fi connectivity, we can send four, five, six different commands seamlessly without any user interaction. And it’s honestly the best chicken I’ve ever tasted.”
But leveraging technology doesn’t automatically make everything simple. “Our hope is really to become the agnostic platform for the kitchen, where potentially all appliance manufacturers can join in. The ultimate goal is for consumers to be able to use a single app to control their entire kitchen,” says Giavazzi.
To begin simplifying the connected cooking experience, Innit needed fast and easy authentication to get users cooking instead of entering endless passwords.
“At first, Innit considered handling identity in-house, but quickly realized offloading identity would reduce maintenance costs and ensure thorough testing,” says Slattery. Must-haves in an identity provider include OAuth2 and OpenID Connect, REST API or SDK for authentication and exercising user-facing APIs, plus a strong security reputation.
Slattery says he was impressed when he came across Auth0. “Whoa, this kind of sets a new bar for what we should be looking for. And as engineers, we created a spreadsheet with a bunch of criteria that we rated each of the potential vendors against. And Auth0 came up way on top.”
After initially estimating the need for three full-time engineers to work for two months to build their own system, “It took no more than a week to get the initial proof of concept running from the app through Auth0 and to our user servers,” says Slattery, without the need to do maintenance. They don’t even track the cost of interacting with Auth0 because “We just know that we don’t have to do anything.”
In addition to providing a single point of sign-on for users and linked smart cooking devices, Innit was also able to create a continuous integration pipeline to ensure consistent configuration of Auth0 tenants when testing staging and production environments.
This ease and adaptability means that Innit now recommends Auth0 to partners like Electrolux. “Knowing that Electrolux is using Auth0, we’re confident that all of the [authentication] best practices are being used and also that it’s going to be easy for us to integrate,” says Slattery.
WiFi chips will be “game changers” in the kitchen, says Kristina Aguirre, Innit’s Senior Marketing Manager.
“10 years ago, there were cellphones and there were cameras — now, basically every cellphone has a camera. We’re seeing the same trend in kitchen appliances — eventually, it’ll be hard to find a kitchen appliance that’s not connected,” says Slattery.
The Innit dream of kitchen ease is tantalizing: “I’m just imagining the day when, you have maybe three, four, or five different small appliances or big appliances that are going to come together through the Innit platform to help you prepare a meal. Maybe you put all your ingredients for the sauce into the blender. You set up your pan on the stovetop, maybe put something in the oven, and then you just hit a button and walk away. And everything turns on at the right time, at the right temperature. Maybe you get a push notification that says, ‘It’s time to pour your sauce into this pan.’ And then it’s hands off, and Innit can orchestrate the whole thing,” says Slattery, who says that this delicious dream could be technologically achievable within the next 12 months.