SRI Ventures’ Passio Introduces Smart Refrigerator with Bosch at #CES2020

Passio bosch smart fridge at CES2020
Passio bosch smart fridge at CES2020

What if your refrigerator could double as your own personal nutritionist? While it might sound too good to be true, the folks at Passio, an SRI Ventures’ portfolio company, are making this dream a reality. Passio is an innovator in the computer vision machine learning space, a rapidly growing market expected to surpass $17B by 2023. Their first product, FoodAI, has been in stealth development for two years, and will be showcased to the public for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Changing the way we think about meal logging

The idea for Passio was born years ago when co-founders Dmitriy Starson and David Westendorf were in collegiate sports. They realized that there was a significant deficiency in how elite athletes are meticulously coached for their nutrition intake, versus that of the general population. And they’re right!

While athletes have personal nutritionists and trainers, the public only read a constant cycle of competing news reports that vacillate (a fact that makes Starson and Westendorf cringe!) on an almost daily basis; deeming foods such as eggs, red wine, bacon, etc. healthy in one published report and evil in the next. It is time for a new approach to food recognition and meal logging.

A vision comes to life…

Passio has partnered with BSH Kitchen, a unit of Robert Bosch, to bring to life its vision for a smart refrigerator that autonomously recognizes food contents.


The Bosch smart refrigerator demo has two cameras, placed in the door and main interior, that capture a still frame picture each time the refrigerator door closes. Passio’s technology has been integrated into the refrigerator firmware for a seamless user experience that identifies the contents inside; simultaneously recognizing all food items at once. Depending on the refrigerator contents, a companion app will generate recipes optimized around the refrigerator’s on-hand inventory.

Passio’s AI has been trained to recognize up to 30 distinct foods, whether unwrapped, or in their native packaging. This varied list includes raw fruits, uncooked vegetables, packaged condiments, packaged dairy, and wrapped meats and seafood.

Passio’s founding thesis hinges on how computer vision and artificial intelligence can combine with an entirely new food database, to determine the contextual value that food imparts on an individual’s diet intake. Nutritionists will tell you that food is individually nuanced, and not generalized. A first-time marathoner’s diet will differ from a new mother, for example. Passio’s food recognition identifies and logs foods with 95%+ accuracy, so the user, whether chef, athlete, or doctor, can gain accurate insights to food calories, micro and macro nutrients, fat content, etc. It also assists with compliance to special diets such as obesity, keto, vegan, etc.

The next frontier of AI…

Passio’s FoodAI brings diet tracking, sports & fitness, chronic disease mobile applications, and smart IOT appliances, such as microwaves, range-tops, and supermarket checkout, into the world of machine learning, to create world-class recipes, training diets, and healthy lifestyle management.

Passio-Bosch-smartfridge-mobile-view with AR overlay

BSH will be demonstrating the smart refrigerator at #CES2020 in their booth #12401 in the Central Hall January 7–11. Come say hi!

Passio will be announcing several additional Fortune 100 partnerships in early 2020 across several app and smart appliance categories. For more information about how Passio can bring your products into the AI-assisted world, please contact David Westendorf at

Passio’s co-founder David Westendorf contributed to this article.

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