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An Internet of Things (IOT) mobile and web application that connects sensors and equipment with real time updates for kitchens across the UK.

ClientUpNorth GroupYear2022Share

Kitchen Internet of Things Information

Kioti is a fully integrated Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA) solution for managing, monitoring and reporting on critical assets in commercial kitchens. By tracking a wide range of data points, from environmental conditions to resource consumption, Kioti aimed to solve the need for a streamlined, comprehensive tool that allowed operators to control their units with just a few taps on a mobile app or tablet screen.

The development of Kioti was a collaborative and iterative process. It showcased our ability to understand client requirements, design user-friendly interfaces, develop robust and scalable systems, and provide ongoing support. This innovative project demonstrates our ambition to make technology serve even the most hands-on businesses in practical, user-friendly ways.

The Client

About the client

The UpNorth Group consists of several leading companies covering a diverse range of industry sectors. The Group companies provide pioneering solutions to both national and international markets, from Data Centres and M&E Building Services to Foodservice Equipment & Engineering Solutions.

Clients needs

UpNorth Group required a large-scale comprehensive solution to monitor and control dark kitchens (restaurant kitchens selling meals on a delivery-only basis) on a national scale. The solution needed to be accessible through a mobile app, as well as on larger tablets stationed at each dark kitchen unit.

Each kitchen would monitor 50 data points including:

  • Environmental conditions: temperature (°C) & air quality (CO/CO2)
  • HACCP temperature
  • Faults, alert dismissals and fault servicing
  • Electricity, gas & water consumption
Project objectives
  • Designated roles and permissions providing granular management to share control and optimise workflow
  • Monitoring and controlling the aforementioned data points
  • Producing alerts when
    • Equipment and system faults occur
    • Temperature values fall outside of thresholds for a set period of time
  • Allowing alerts to be dismissed by the operator
  • Producing weekly and monthly usage reports logging faults and their dismissals

OpenKit’s Approach

Initial Consultancy

Before any development started, OpenKit and UpNorth Group discussed the requirements for Kioti in full detail. We explored different technology stacks and their various advantages, and determined how each technology would scale with their needs. This comprehensive consultation ensured that we understood Kioti’s requirements and could select the most suitable stack for their goals.

Methods and technologies

Design and prototype phase:

Kioti described their UI and UX requirements as ‘Tesla Tablet Style Interface’, using a dark theme to ensure better battery performance. OpenKit used its design expertise to develop and iterate upon several UI variations, until UpNorth was satisfied.

Kioti then set up two test kitchens which included all of the required data points, and we developed an initial prototype of Kioti with the required functionality. Alongside UpNorth Group, we then stress tested this system and used the results to make the necessary alterations to perfect the backend.

Technologies used:

Frontend: Flutter for iOS, Android and Web application.
Backend: IoT Core, EasyIO, Javascript, Node.js, Google Firebase, Cloud Functions, Firebase and Firestore database.

Solutions provided

We created an app that was scalable for hundreds of dark kitchens across the UK, each monitored on thousands of data points every hour. We built the Kioti backend system from the ground up, taking advantage of modern serverless technologies to ensure minimum long-term system maintenance costs.

Accessible on the web, iOS and Android, Kioti communicates with numerous devices over a variety of protocols on a single cloud platform. From IP to Modbus asset integration, Kioti system can be used in any situation.

The critical nature of Kioti meant that the system needed to be always available. Built with fault tolerance in mind, systems have automatic backups in place to alert Kioti admin of system anomalies.

We designed the ‘Tesla Tablet Style Interface’ to be intuitive and easy to navigate, with a highly energy efficient dark theme which added a modern, sleek aesthetic to the interface.

Project Outcomes

Commercial Deployment

After a series of prototypes and iterations were developed, the system was determined to be highly performant, scalable and ready for industry use. The commercial deployment of Kioti marked a significant milestone in our software development journey. It demonstrated our ability to create a robust and scalable system that could meet the demands of a commercial kitchen environment.

Ongoing Support

OpenKit continues to work with UpNorth Group for the maintenance of Kioti. This ensures that Kioti remains up-to-date and continues to serve its users effectively. We provide regular updates, troubleshoot any issues, and continue to improve the system based on user feedback and technological advancements.

Key Successes

Responsive frontend

Highly scalable design

Highly reliant and fault-tolerant

Company logo for Upnorth group

“Working with OpenKit proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable and collaborative experience – they were quick to adapt to Industry specific challenges and applied their expertise in software development to deliver an enterprise grade full stack IOT solution for Industrial Spec Kitchens.”

— Charles Lewis, Software Development Manager, UNG