Kitchens are often thought of as the heart of the home. Yet with modern developments, we’re increasingly looking to spend more time out of them than in them. The concept of “slaving over a hot stove” is long gone and in its place are machines or appliances that can cater to almost our every whim.
Increasingly, smart technology is creeping into our homes, meaning that while making coffee, cooking – and perhaps even cleaning! ‐ will still happen at the touch of a button, it’ll be a button on our mobile or tablet from the other room.
We took a look at some of our favourite new or imminent inventions:
Smart spots look set to become big news for the kitchen of the not‐so‐distant future. Forbes.com is predicting that areas with hidden charging stations will be commonplace, as people look to have tablets and phones tucked away on charge, but to hand. The kitchen of the future will focus on convenience and accessibility, with appliances from ovens to wine coolers controlled at the touch of a (remote) button.
Giving food “a voice” also looks set to be big, with companies like Innit describing their approach as letting “our food tell us so many things about itself”; in theory leading to less food waste and improved wellbeing. Their technology works inside smart appliances and can recognise individual food items, their freshness and their temperature.
They’re already infiltrating mainstream art and technology, so it was only a matter of time before 3D printers found new applications in our kitchens. Although possible, 3D printed food is still a long way off. But something a little bit quirkier is on the market: the Ripple Maker allows you to print designs on top of your coffee using either pre‐programmed designs or images uploaded to an app. That would certainly cheer up our Monday morning.
Sticking with quirky gadgets, this one might make trips to the pub obsolete: the Brewie is the world’s first fully‐automated home‐brewery, taking you through the whole process from scratch and letting you monitor it from your phone. No more last orders… unless you text them first!
Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. High‐tech utensils from Spün monitor the calories you’re consuming from your cutlery and politely let you know when they think you might have had enough.
There’s no doubt that robotic assistants are also in the pipeline… just in case pushing all those buttons gets a bit too stressful! At the Consumer Electronics Fair in Shanghai last year, Moley Robotics unveiled a ‘robot kitchen’ complete with large robotic arms that proceeded to create a meal in front of visitors. The robot is designed to mimic the human actions of cooking ‐including pausing for thought ‐ but at an estimated £50K when it does go on sale, this won’t be one for everyone.
Whether it’s the little things like calorie‐counting cutlery, fridges that tell you when you need to re‐stock or robots that just go ahead and do it all for you, the future of kitchen tech is definitely about being simpler and smarter; about making our time in the kitchen more efficient, while also ultimately contributing positively to the environment (with a reduction in waste and cooking time) and our health and wellbeing.
What do you think the kitchen of the future will look like? Let us know in the Comments below.