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MAID is a smart microwave/convection oven hybrid you can control with your voice

While most big-name appliance manufacturers are busy making fridges that can send texts, washing machines that can wirelessly power your gadgets, and other appliances of questionable value; there are a handful of startups on the rise that are hard at work building smart appliances that actually look useful.

Case in point: the MAID Oven from Palo Alto-based startup SectorCube. Freshly launched on Kickstarter after more than three years of development, the MAID is jam-packed with smart features and functionality that could truly make cooking easier.

For starters, it functions as both a microwave and convection oven, so it can handle a bag of popcorn just as easily as it can cook a batch of cupcakes. On top of that, MAID is also hooked into the Web and comes loaded with a slew of different sensors, so you don’t even need to enter in temperature or duration — just tell MAID what you’re cooking and it’ll automatically choose the optimal settings.

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You can literally just tell the oven what’s for dinner — it’s got built-in voice recognition, so if your hands are covered in dough or some other kind of goo, you can skip the manual inputs and just speak your commands out loud. If that’s not your speed, MAID also understands gesture controls, and comes equipped with a 6-inch touchscreen display for when your hands aren’t occupied. This touchscreen is basically like a tablet built into the oven — it can be used to browse through MAID’s massive recipe database, display video tutorials, and even speak cooking instructions back to you so you don’t have to look at the screen while you prepare everything.

The features don’t end there either. As you’d expect from any card-carrying smart appliance, MAID also comes with an accompanying smartphone app. This means you can get push alerts when your food is done cooking, adjust cook time and temperature settings from afar, or remotely activate/deactivate the oven while you’re away from home.

We’ll let you dig through SectorCube’s Kickstarter page to learn the rest. The company launched it’s campaign earlier today, and is making solid headway toward it’s $50K funding goal. If you back the project now, you can lock down a MAID for around $370 (early bird) or $450. If it meets its funding goal and manufacturing goes smoothly, SectorCube expects to ship the first production batch of MAID ovens to backers as early as November 2015. Find out more here.