Take Ayla’s IoT cloud, add 36 hours, and get a Kitchen of the Future at GE Hackathon
Here’s what you can expect in the kitchen of your future:

  • smart cooking devices you control with your phone
  • combo wall oven-induction cooktops
  • ranges with built-in smoking drawers 

Mega_Hack-1.pngAt least, that’s the futuristic vision that appeared during a 36-hour Mega Hackathon on the Future of Cooking held last month in Louisville, Ky. 

FirstBuild, a global co-creation community backed by GE Appliances (a Haier company) put on the event, and Ayla’s partner Renesas provided its development kit and Ayla’s IoT cloud solution. A four-person team from Ayla went to the event to provide development and support to the teams using the Renesas/Ayla solution.

Teams of more than 200 designers, engineers, makers, students and foodies collaborated at FirstBuild’s Louisville microfactory to design, build, code and hack 14 next-generation cooking devices. FirstBuild and other sponsors awarded prizes, including $15,000 in cash.  


The Hackathon’s big theme was connectivity and new ways of controlling products, according to Justin Berger, lead community champion of FirstBuild. He said the judges were particularly looking at voice and gestures, “and designing for aging and or handicapped populations -- general ease of use.”

To that end, a cooktop for visually impaired users won a first-place award for Best Overall Design as well an award for Best Use of a 3M Product.


(Caption: Team Marco won FirstBuild’s award for Best Overall Design as well as 3M’s award for Best Use of a 3M Product with their cooktop for the visually impaired. Pictured from left: Dale Dougherty,  Make Magazine; Larry Portaro, FirstBuild; Josh Montgomery, Mike Miller, Mariah Zambuto, Steve Penrod, Rachel Turnwald, Aura Escobar, Grace Simrall,  Louisville Metro Gov.)

Standouts that used the Renesas/Ayla solution included:

  • A Smart Range Hood that offers a ventilation hood that controlled fan speed based on cooking temperature and lights based on user activity  -- and they won Best Use of Renesas Architecture.


  • A Multi-function Induction Cooker combines an induction cooktop with the oven space and works both as a cooktop and an oven when the door is closed. The cooktop can be opened only when in use, keeping it out of reach of children.


  • An Automatic Gas Grill Add-on  for smoking big pieces of meat that require many hours of cooking time. The Add-on allows a mobile phone app to control and regulate the temperature inside the grill so it is constant during the entire cooking time..


Other teams that used the Renesas solution created these intriguing products

  • One Cool Crock Pot
  • YOUniversal Chef
  • FireSnowman Cooktop
  • Heating and Refrigeration Crockpot

They may not have won prizes at the Hackathon, but they certainly were winners in our book.


Ayla participants included (from left) Lars Paulsen, Calvin Sellwood, Richard Dorfner and Clay St. Dennis.