We don’t even know what Brava does, but it raised a whole lot of money

We may not know much about what Internet of Things and “domestic automation company” Brava does, but we certainly know that what it is doing is attractive to those with deep pockets. Despite an increasingly crowded smart home space and an uptick in scrutiny around gimmicky kitchen appliances (thanks for that, Juicero), Brava has managed to capture the imagination of investors, as it recently doubled its venture funding to more than $24 million.

Brava has not been on the scene for very long. Indeed, little is known about what the company is up to, except that it is making a smart oven that apparently features automation, an internal camera to recognize food, and sensors that will keep tabs on “the functioning of the oven and the operation of automation systems of an oven.”

We also know that its small team is led by John Pleasants, the ex-CEO of Ticketmaster and Playdom, which was acquired by Disney in 2010. His most recent position was at Samsung, a company known for its smart devices. Other members of the leadership team include Thomas Cheng, Brava’s co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, who oversaw the hardware division of smart lock company August Home, and Dan Yue, the co-founder and former Cheif Marketing Officer of Green Chef, an organic ingredient and recipe delivery service. With resumes like these, it is easy to imagine that a connected kitchen device is well in their wheelhouse.

That said, Brava is staying tight-lipped on what customers ought to expect when it unveils its first product. Pleasants told TechCrunch that the team is “building a system that makes it easier to cook and eat well at home,” though that could mean … well, anything.

But don’t worry — we will soon be put out of our misery. Brava says that it is looking to launch a product publicly by the end of 2017 and that whatever it is will be available for purchase through the Brava website.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Apple's Airpods 2 could be released as early as this week

Apple may release new AirPods in the first half of 2019. A wireless charging case, health sensors, water resistance, and better Siri integration are some of the improvements rumored to be part of the new package.
Smart Home

Viral porch pirate videos freak people out, cause unrealistic concern

Viral porch pirate videos convince others crime is more prevalent than facts indicate. According to polls, even though FBI reports show property crime rates are at historic lows, more people worry about crime today than ever before.
Smart Home

Who should fix Internet of Things cybersecurity? Congress takes a crack at it

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to be a murky world of networked gizmos, but Congress is trying to highlight the issue with new legislation that would set cybersecurity standards for these devices.
Smart Home

Ikea isn’t throwing shade with the delayed release of its smart blinds

Ikea planned to release is Tradfri-compatible smart blinds in April 2019, but the products have been delayed until later in the year for a firmware update that promises better functionality.
Smart Home

Whatever happened to those dumb smart products we wrote about in 2017?

A smart salt dispenser? As manufacturers rush to get the next new smart item out there, we wonder if all these new inventions are really necessary. Here’s a list of 10 of the quirkiest home smart gadgets available, and where they are now.
Smart Home

Lutron’s Fan Control makes ceiling fans smart, but has some turnoffs

Lutron recently came out with a smart switch that controls ceiling fans, the Lutron Caseta Fan Speed Control Switch. How does it stack up? Here's a first-hand review of the Lutron Fan Control switch.

Amazon and Kia team up to simplify EV home-charging station installs

Kia Motors announced a new program with Amazon for electric vehicles. Customers planning to purchase a new Kia EV or PHEV can check out recommended Level 2 240-volt home charging stations and arrange installation in their homes.
Smart Home

Traeger’s latest wood-pellet grills are smoky, smart, and spacious

Traeger is famous in the world of barbecue and heavy-duty grills for its signature pellet grills and now the company is expanding this year by adding three new brands of redesigned
Smart Home

The five best teeth-whitening kits you can buy on Amazon

Teeth whitening can have a major impact on a person’s smile and overall appearance. You don't necessarily have to go to the dentist to get your teeth whitened though. Here are the best teeth-whitening kits you can buy.
Smart Home

Is your Keurig making gross coffee? Might be time for a cleaning

No one likes a dirty, scaled, or smelly Keurig, but how are you supposed to clean them? Before you throw yours out the window, here is a quick guide on cleaning your machine out thoroughly.
Smart Home

Which is better, the original Echo or the Echo Dot? We compare them

Amazon Echo vs. Dot: Having Alexa answer your questions is nothing short of futuristic, but which device should you get? There are some big differences between the two, especially in size, sound, and cost.
Product Review

Gate’s Smart Lock is locked and loaded but ultimately lacks important basics

In a world of video cameras and doorbells comes the Gate Smart Lock, a lock with a video camera embedded. It’s a great idea, but lacks some crucial functionality to make it a top-notch product.
Smart Home

Sony’s Aibo robot dog can now patrol your home for persons of interest

Sony released the all-new Aibo in the U.S. around nine months ago, and since then the robot dog has (hopefully) been melting owners' hearts with its cute looks and clever tricks. Now it has a new one up its sleeve.