What’s New in Today’s Smart Kitchen
If you’re a Millennial, chances are you saw the 1999 Disney film “Smart House” and daydreamed about having a TV screen for a wall and the exact meal you wanted appearing on the kitchen counter when you asked. From attending the Smart Kitchen Summit in Seattle last week, I learned that we still have a ways to go to instant home cooking, but we’re well on our way to better, more efficient kitchen spaces.
Here are some of my takeaways from the Summit:
– Technology in the kitchen will get people to start cooking more if it makes cooking easier and quicker.
– We’re still missing a new innovative tool for the kitchen – the microwave was the last to hit the mainstream market that changed the way we cooked.
– Consumers are looking for an opportunity to bring together their appliances digitally.
– The iPhone plays a huge part in the kitchen where people use it to look up recipes. We are still missing an app that knows where the user is in the recipe and can follow along.
– The replacement cycle on large appliances varies so much that innovation may slow as a result – another opening for innovation.
I also had the opportunity to meet with inventors and manufacturers who are working on solving these problems. Here are some of my finds:
- The Orange Chef Countertop – To help users make better nutritional decisions, the device has a smart board that can weigh and track ingredients, plus an app that recommends recipes and tracks nutritional intake. It can also integrate with fitness wearables.
- Amazon Echo – Launching in time for the holidays, this smart speaker could help in the kitchen because of hands-free voice control. The smart assistant, Alexa, can offer information like alarms, lists, recipes, reviews and weather.
- Electrolux’s Oven Camera – Mounted inside a steam oven, the camera takes photos of food and sends them to a smartphone app. Users can then check on the contents even while entertaining.
- Table for Living – IKEA’s smart table is still in the works, but if/when it launches there will be a camera-equipped projector that shows recipes on its surface and recognizes ingredients. The table could also double as a stove or a charging station.
- CounterCrop – Following the trend for farm-to-table, this self-contained miniature garden has its own watering setup and LED lights that mimic sunrise, sunset and seasonal shifts in nature.
- Perfect Bake and Perfect Drink – I tried this one out myself. This app-controlled system connects with an app and measures all ingredients by weight. That way, recipes can be followed exactly or altered if an ingredient is missing.
All of the speakers and attendees agreed on one point – the smart kitchen still has a while to go until everyone is on board. Users are likely to gradually integrate smart features into their kitchen as appliances age, but until then manufacturers are working on perfecting their products. Still have my fingers crossed for that self-serving countertop!
This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 11th, 2015 at 2:21 PM and is filed under Inspiration, Kitchen Design, Technology, Trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.