Let’s take a look at what is coming in the future for kitchen designing. If you have put off using Wi-Fi to operate your home’s many systems, this may be the year to make that leap. After all, your cassette and VHS tapes may bring nostalgic memories but were rendered obsolete with the introduction of CDs, soon trumped by the internet. Wi-Fi trumps all. It is now standard to have USB ports alongside electrical outlets in every room, especially in the central activity hub…the kitchen.
Shopping for appliances?
Shopped for kitchen appliances lately? You have no doubt been overwhelmed with Smart system Wi-Fi enabled technology being integrated in to most all manufacturer product lines, at many price points. Popular high-tech features include LCD and LED displays on control panels and improved sensor technology to monitor efficacy and hidden health dangers from spoiled meat to any cooling leaks. Download the remote app to your phone and/or tablet and with a few slides and taps you can defrost your fridge, start the dishwasher, turn on your oven, and adjust temperatures from across the street, or the globe.
London-based innovators, and trend forecasters, Stylus, have identified the top trends you will see in 2014 and 2015. Look for the rise of 3D food printers, automated food stock monitoring and reordering (even recommends recipes for what is on hand), family dietary health monitoring and bringing Star-Trek ‘beam me up’ hologramming in to our every day lives. Another great source for identifying what’s next is Electrolux Design Lab’s website. Electroluxe has encouraged student industrial designers to develop new technological solutions for the kitchen and home, showcasing the best of the best and helping to make the concepts a reality.
Here are just a few innovations you will be seeing now and in the very near future:
Though several manufacturers are racing to release their own technology integrated cooktop/counter designs, Whirpool and Toncelli have introduced their impressive versions at trade shows and online. Imagine having a seamless and unobstructed counter that when activated through both manual and sensory input, lights up with media and infrared, induction burners. Think of it as a massive tablet with everything you could possibly need without having to move around objects or to move to different work stations.. Move a pot and the burner moves with you. View a step by step chef demonstration on one screen while having another viewport open, monitoring your toddler’s nap time.
Beyond the LED/LCD displays providing weather, news, email, social media and energy usage reports, there are several new innovations in development and about to hit the market. Having last-minute company over but no time to run to the store? Your fridge will be able to tell you what you have and recommend recipe options. Making a grocery list for the week? Check your LCD screen first. It will already have a list of what you are low on,…and can even send in orders ahead. If you often forget about items pushed to the rear, developers are working on a software integrated in to shelving that moves soon to expire forward. That’s a little freaky for me but I would appreciate the reporting system.
Ready for Holographs in your kitchen?
3. Holographic technology
Beam your Boston-based mother in to your Portland home as you simultaneously prepare a family recipe. I forsee popular chefs the world over offering hologram demos down the road. Waiting to see if both Mom and Wolfgang can have a dance party at same time.
4. Laser-cut and laser printed food
Large 3D food printers have already entered the commercial kitchen industry. Consumers are next. Atomium is a food 3D printer that develops meals based on the users’ medical data, food sensitivities and personal likes and dislikes in flavors, textures and shapes of their food. It scans and prints the molecular ingredients of recipes layer by layer. Currently a semi-finalist in Electroluxe’s Design Lab competition, awaiting funding and support. Though it will offer professional artisan results for some it is also a tool to get children involved with cooking and making healthy choices for their own bodies. Digital laser cutters and 3D printers for food are in development the world over and will be a more common sight in the years to come.
Say yes to year round fresh veges!
5. In-Home Greenhouses
Since the outdoor craze of creating wall gardens how about a garden in your kitchen all year round! There are several indoor garden systems you can incorporate in to your kitchen designs now but the most promising is Hyundai’s Nano Garden. Resembling a refridgerated display case, The Nano uses hydrophonic technology to sustain optimal amounts of light, water and nutrient supply, signaling when any amount is off balance and needs adjustment. Pesticides and fertilizers are not needed and Nano Garden has the added benefit of acting as a natural indoor air purifier. Perfect for the city dweller who lacks a green thumb.
Technology is rapidly changing how we approach every day activities. Chances are that if you have thought of a way to make your kitchen run more smoothly, there is a product out there – and industrial designers busily working on hundreds more.