Announced at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Dacor's 30-inch Discovery IQ wall ovens sit at the top of the smart appliances I've seen so far, at least in terms of price. At $4,299 for the single oven model, $7,299 for the double kit, this product line is definitively aimed at wealthy cooking enthusiasts. What might it be like to cook as (for?) a member of the connected one percent?
To start, the Discovery IQ essentially includes a built-in Android tablet, which Dacor calls the IQ Controller for Android. Where a connected oven from LG includes a few basic recipe and temperature control functions, Dacor includes oven-specific software, and also access to the full range of apps from the Google Play store. That not only opens the door to oven-based Candy Crush, but it also puts a vast library of entertainment and informational software in a convenient place in your kitchen.
Among Dacor's oven specific apps, you'll find a guided cooking program that hosts recipes, displays cooking videos, and transmits cooking instructions to the oven. It can also pull down software updates and diagnose problems automatically.
Dacor hasn't overwhelmed its competitors in all aspects here. GE's Profile convection wall oven,is unique in letting owners turn the oven on remotely via a smartphone application, convenient for preheating. The GE oven doesn't have any other smart capabilities, but that one seems practical.
LG cited manufacturer liability as the reason for leaving remote preheating off of its smart oven. Dacor, with no smartphone companion app, doesn't seem to have given much merit to any remote control functions. Either position is defensible, but I imagine a well-to-do buyer might bristle a bit, knowing Dacor's oven could have been even smarter.
Other than that one feature, this will still be the most fully-featured smart oven when it hits the market later this year. Its core oven features, 4.8 foot cooking capacity, convection cooking, steam cleaning capability, all give it the appropriate high-end cooking pedigree. We hope to review it once Dacor has a unit to send our way.