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.”

Emerging Tech

The Flamethrower Diet is better than keto and I burned all this food to prove it

When I first caught word that Elon Musk's Boring Company was selling a fully-functional flamethrower, I knew right away that I wanted to use it as a replacement for all of my modern cooking appliances. Why use a microwave when you can use a…
Product Review

It roasts! It grinds! It brews! But this coffee wonder has a bitter side

The all-in-one smart Bonaverde Berlin Brewing System lets you roast, grind, and brew from green coffee beans. But is all this work to make an average-tasting cup of Joe worth ditching your regular coffee maker?
Movies & TV

September brings 'The Dragon Prince,' an animated war series, to Netflix

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Smart Home

What is an Instant Pot? Here’s everything you need to know

The Instant Pot is a powerful kitchen appliance that does everything from pressure cook to to slow cook to steam. Heck, you can even make yogurt in it. Here's all you need to know about the magic device.
Smart Home

Armenian startup Bluenero is fishing for funds for a smart aquarium

A new startup operating out of the Republic of Armenia has launched a successful Indiegogo campaign to design and manufacture a smart aquarium that automatically feeds fish and monitors water quality.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: When it happens and where to find the best deals

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.
Smart Home

Restaurants may soon have chefs who know all about you before you walk in the door

At Seattle’s Addo, chef Eric Rivera gives pop-up-style restaurants a permanent home, and he leverages everything from Instagram to a ticketing service to bring in customers.
Smart Home

Amazon creates a bigger toy box with its new Alexa Gadgets Toolkit

Amazon is giving manufacturers of interactive devices and smart home enthusiasts a new toy with a new Alexa Gadgets Toolkit that enables the construction of accessories that pair to Echo devices.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Smart Home

Alexa can now tell you the odds of the next big football game

Alexa can now answer questions about your favorite NFL teams and players, such as what team is favored to win the upcoming game or what player has racked up the most distance over the course of their career.
Smart Home

Who needs Stitch Fix? Maison Me uses A.I. to custom design clothing just for you

With backing from Google, a new Silicon Valley-based startup called Maison Me is offering A.I.-assisted, designed-to-order clothing. It's like a personal styling service on steroids.
Smart Home

Ring Alarm vs. Nest Secure: Which one is right for you?

Thanks to the advance of technology, it's become really easy nowadays to secure your home and protect it from thieves, intruders, and unwanted guests. Which one of these two top contenders is right for you?
Smart Home

Images of Google Home Hub leak ahead of company’s October hardware event

Google Assistant has the capability to work with displays. A set of leaked images suggest Google plans to take advantage of this feature with its new Home Hub, an Echo Show-type device.
Smart Home

What is Instacart? Here’s how to use the grocery delivery app

One of the most popular grocery delivery apps is Instacart, which you can use to receive your groceries in as little as an hour. A shopper near you will deliver it to your door, saving you a trip to the store. Here's how it works.