The Zest is a smart spice rack that tells you how best to season your food

zest smart spice rack finalform
Handling spices requires a deft hand. Be overzealous, and you’ll murder to your guests’ taste buds. Be too conservative, and your guests will wonder if they’ve eaten anything at all. But now, there’s a way to walk that fine line and prove yourself worthy of master-chef status every time. It’s called Zest, and it’s a smart kiosk that makes use of computer vision to recommend which spices to use for what food.

The problem with spices, of course, is that there are just so many of them. And alas, seeing as we haven’t all been to culinary school, we’re not intimately familiar with when marjoram leaf should be used, or when we should be throwing in some saffron. And given that some spices are practically worth their weight in gold, we probably ought to educate ourselves (and exercise some restraint).

Enter the Zest, a clever machine that uses image recognition technology to identify the contents of a seasoned dish, and will then provide the cook or diner with a list of “spice recipes.” Each of these recipes promises to “a unique flavor that can be created with a mix of spices.” And as you swipe through the recipes, the required spices will be highlighted on the adjacent, connected spice rack, so you don’t have to waste time hunting for the right name.

While this would certainly be a welcome addition to a home (both as an organizational tool and as a kitchen assistant), the Zest team says that the ideal location of its smart machine is currently a college dining hall, as these locales “tend to serve conservatively seasoned food.” And given college students’ proclivities to try new things, Zest could open up a whole new world for them. But more importantly, having Zest around could help improve students’ “baseline spice literacy that will help them as they begin cooking as adults.”

Smart Home

Find the perfect Valentine’s Day recipe with Food Network’s Date Your Dessert

Valentine's Day is soon upon us. Food Network enlisted Alexa to help you find the right dessert recipe to share with someone special. Food Network's Date Your Dessert interactive game pays off every time in the form of a dessert recipe.
Smart Home

Alexa, dim the lights: How voice assistants can help with Valentines Day

If you have an Amazon Echo or Google Home device, you can sweep your sweetheart off his or her feet this Valentine's Day with these romantic, mood-setting tips. Your sweetie will be impressed.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Legion'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Smart Home

Abode Systems taps HelloTech for professional security system installations

Abode Systems has been expanding into the smart home security market and will enhance its technology with a new partnership with tech support firm HelloTech, which will install its security systems for a fee.
Smart Home

Want to publish your own Alexa skill? Here's how to do it

Building new Alexa skills has never been easier! Thanks to Alexa Blueprints, you can pick a template and create any kind of Alexa skill you want. What new skill will you make first? Here's how to do it.
Smart Home

Samsung washing machine recall results in $6.55M class-action settlement

Samsung settled a class action lawsuit involving more than 30 top-loading washing machine models for $6.55 million. The suit alleged the machine tops could detach and explode. Original owners may qualify for refunds and cash settlements.
Smart Home

Let a robot do your chores! Here are the best robot vacuums for 2019

Robot vacuums are a convenient way to tidy up your home and minimize your weekly to-do list. From a top-of-the-line model to a handy budget option, here are the best robot vacuums you can buy right now.
Smart Home

At KBIS 2019, LG brings its biggest lineup of Amazon Dash-equipped appliances

LG announced ahead of KBIS 2019 that its entire line of dishwashers and laundry appliances will now come pre-integrated with Amazon Dash, the online retailer's popular automatic replenishment program.
Emerging Tech

Words are so 2018. The Peeqo robot speaks exclusively in GIFs and video clips

Move over, Amazon Echo! Peeqo is a cute robot that will answer your spoken word questions by displaying a specially selected short video or GIF. Because, you know, it’s the year 2019.
Smart Home

Google Home and Amazon Alexa are asking smart home device makers for user info

Google and Amazon want to establish a "continuous flow" of information between their servers and your smart home devices, but companies like Logitech have begun to speak out for user privacy.
Smart Home

Language barrier? Psh. Here's how to make your Google Home an ace translator

You can now use interpreter mode on your Google Home devices. This means, you can use your Google Home device to translate conversations in real-time. Here's how to use interpreter mode.
Smart Home

Ring adds color night vision to wired security devices and HDR to wireless ones

Ring rolled out color night vision to its wired security products with cameras such as the Spotlight Cam Wired. At the same time, Ring added HDR control to its battery-powered security devices including the Video Doorbell 2.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.