4 Ways Technology Is Making The Kitchen Smarter
Updated: Jun 15
The kitchen is considered by many to be the heart of the home, but smart innovation means that it's quickly becoming the brain too. If you attended Smart Kitchen Summit, or simply followed the action on Twitter, you'll have seen everything from a smart sous-vide machine to a crepe robot. While consumers are embracing technology in every aspect of their lives, the challenge for innovators is to produce appliances and apps that genuinely help people get the best out of their kitchen.
Here are 4 ways technology is making kitchens smarter right now.
Amongst larger kitchen appliances, fridge manufacturers are ahead of the game. Many smart fridges enable the user to adjust the temperature from their phone or check the contents of their fridge without opening the door. Samsung has taken things a little further with its Family Hub. The screen works as a smart notice board where people can keep track of their family's appointments and display photos. Users can also display recipes, organise shopping lists and order groceries right there on the fridge door. Since the fridge is at the heart of the kitchen, Samsung's Family Hub equips users with a system that helps make cooking and shopping more convenient and efficient.
The Family Hub is far from the only option when it comes to seamless grocery shopping through smart technology. Amazon's Dash buttons allow users to order brands such as Nescafé and Evian at the touch of a button and just this week Amazon doubled the variety of Dash buttons that are available in the UK. Dash buttons are essentially free (your initial £4.99 outlay is discounted from your first order) but the catch is that each button orders just one item. For those who don't fancy sticking coloured, branded buttons all over their house, the Amazon Dash Wand is a smarter evolution of the Dash buttons. Powered by Alexa, users can scan barcodes or simply ask for items to be added to their shopping basket. Since the Dash Wand is kept in the kitchen, it solves the problem of forgetting to add ingredients to a shopping list as they're used up. Just scan the barcodes before you pop the packaging in the bin.
While the Amazon Echo and Google Home also enable you to purchases groceries using just your voice, their benefit in the kitchen goes so much further. Once you've ordered your groceries from Amazon or Walmart, Alexa and the Google Assistant become powerful sous-chefs in the kitchen, finding the perfect recipe from the likes of AllRecipes and Campbell's and walking you through each step as you create a delicious meal. (And in the case of the Echo Show, provide video content to help you perfect your recipe.) These digital assistants also convert measurements and offer helpful cooking tips, while a variety of cooking appliances can be controlled by them.
Smart Cooking Devices
More and more appliance manufacturers are jumping on board with smart technology, and companies such as Whirlpool have unveiled smart ovens that can be controlled via Alexa. Right now this is limited to processes such as setting the temperature and the timer. Other devices such as June, an intelligent convection oven, identify your food and cook it to your preference, no pre-heating required. Many devices come pre-loaded with recipes. Heston Cue, a company whose smart cooking system relies on a bank of tried and tested recipes, referred to recipes as the 'software of the kitchen' at Smart Kitchen Summit 2017. Since they've recently partnered with Joule, a smart sous-vide device, it seems that they're ahead of the game when it comes to using this 'software' in conjunction with connected kitchen 'hardware'.
While the connected kitchen is still in many ways in its infancy, and manufacturers are still in getting to grips with what consumers truly need from their kitchen, the future is clearly bright - and smart.