An Affordable Smart Cooking Experience

A case study on creating the audio experience for a scalable ecosystem.


The ChefIQ ecosystem brings the power and convenience of smart cooking technology to the masses. It is accomplished by offering multiple products that work together to create a connected cooking experience through the Chef IQ App.

The Problem 

While the Chef IQ products are affordable and work seamlessly together, the nature of the ecosystem was relying on visual cues as well as simple beeps and stock OS sounds. Stake-holders wanted to set themselves apart from their competition as well create delight for the user.

Our Solution 

To address the problem, we set out to create an audio experience that would help bridge the multiple devices in the system as well as create a vocabulary that could scale with the addition of new product releases. Key components of this audio experience included:

A Custom Vocabulary of Tones

Because the audio experience would communicate through various hardware configurations we needed a sound set that would be understood regardless of the playback method. This would include speakers and DACs that could playback full quality PCM sounds as well as small piezo buzzers.

A Melody that would Inspire

The audio experience would transcend the products and also be present in various other forms of media, including advertisements. We created a melody that would be positive and inspiring. The melody became the foundation of each tone in the vocabulary.

A Friendly Voice

For certain products, the user may be away from their phone and need very specific instructions. In the case of the Smart Thermometer, a simple tone would not be enough. In these cases, we created a custom voice avatar that would guide the user through the process. 


The implementation of the audio experience was seamlessly integrated into Chef IQ products through an OTA (over the air) software update. This update was user-friendly, requiring no setup and configuration. In the case of the piezo melodies, we converted the melodies into machine compatible language that could be loaded into the microprocessor with an OTA update.


1. Cross Product Comprehension

Users of multiple Chef IQ products could more easily comprehend the audio feedback due to the cross platform vocabulary of tones.

2. Increased Convenience

Because the Smart thermometer didn’t require the user to be near their phone, they could enjoy the act of grilling while getting very specific instructions as they needed them through voice notifications. No need to rush for their device to know what was happening.

3. Branded Melody

Users could feel confident in their purchase when they heard the branded melody from the ads on their device, building trust and adding delight.


By taking a holistic approach to the sound design, considering the many different audio touchpoints, we were able to create an audio experience that could grow as the product line grows and give the user more confidence in understanding what the appliances were telling them.

This case study underscores our holistic approach to design. By considering the current ecosystem as well as considering future growth we were able to give Chef IQ an audio experience that can scale.