What the future holds for our favourite room in the house?
For all if those lucky…and rare folks who thought I was referring to the bedroom, please let me clarify, for the majority of us the room we tend to favour most is the kitchen. It is the most costly, it is what sells a home and it is where we spend the most time… again I am speaking to the rule not the exception. That being said, it should be safe to assume that the kitchen has seen it’s share of evolutions shouldn’t it?
Strangely enough, other than the microwave and the dishwasher becoming commonplace, the kitchen has been pretty much status quo for the last 70+ years. There is nothing wrong with the kitchens we know and love, but as we all know, change is inevitable and that long run that the kitchen experienced is coming to an end. Below are just a few examples of the new techy stuff that could be popping up in your kitchen in the not so distant future.
First off, why kitchens? Why not the bedroom, or the bathroom, or the laundry room or why not the entire house at once. Although smart homes are definitely a thing, I am confident that the kitchen will be the first room that most of will control primarily by way of the smart phone.
With the exception of a nifty countertop that charges your phone , or a digital memo board, your appliances is where you will see the bulk of the “intelligence” of your smart kitchen. I am sure there are dozens of gadgets but I know you all have busy lives and, if I want you read my other blogs (which I do), I best respect your time and attention so I will focus on a few of my favourites.
The coffee maker – Of all of the things that are brought to life in the kitchen, COFFEE, has the biggest impact on my life. But before I go off about the conveniences of coffee makers these days I must confess, I am a French press guy, so this is for you percolators out there that are making 12 cups to my 4. Believe me though I am no one trick pony I love all coffee, my brother in law has a bunn just like you see in Timmies and I have no problem tipping back 2-3 cups at family dinner. Oh and about 4-5 times a week I drink one of these instant packets that promote weight loss, if only I could get my diet in check.
So here is what you can expect from the newer advanced pots on the market. For starters, forget setting timers, simply wake up when your alarm goes off, tap brew, hit snooze half a dozen times and when you finally roll out of bed, whatever is left after your wife has beaten you to the pot is hot and ready to pour. You can even get the one cuppers or Keurig and Tassimo machines with this function, just make sure you have your travel mug queued up so you don’t pour into the reservoir and waste that liquid gold. If a “smart Brewer”, as I like to call them, tickles your fancy check out these reviews on a few that you will find on Amazon. Oh and for you French pressers like me, they do have some options with built in grinders to give us that fresh ground taste we love.
The Fridge – I am pretty excited about some of the features of the new smart fridges that are coming onto the market. The one that really stands out for me relates to my absent mindedness.
I am a dad of three very energetic boys, Liam 4 years, and twins Zach and Luke 15 months. My wife recently took a job working shift, which means long hours and long stretches, so for 14 days straight I am mom and dad. This means I cook, clean (she still pitches in a lot with this part), change diapers, and of course, buy groceries. All too often I find myself in the dairy aisle, looking at list of the few things I actually remembered to write down, and texting my wife “do we need milk”?
Where she works so much she has less interest in the fridge contents than I do, and I don’t even drink milk. So I buy milk, and eggs and a bunch of other essentials to be safe and, sure enough, when I arrive home and open the fridge dun da da daaaa…3 dozen eggs and a jug of milk with one glass missing.
So how will this new fridge help this dilemma?? Cameras! That’s right, there are currently fridges on the market with cameras inside at different angles and locations that can be viewed through your smartphone. So next time I am in the dairy aisle trying to remember the last time moved the milk jug out of the way of my favourite IPA, I can pull out my phone, skip the text to my busy wife, open the app and get pictures of the current inventory right then and there. If you are a carton fan, you may want to switch when you get a camera fridge.
Another really cool feature to expect from these new fridges is a giant tablet on the door. With these oversized tablets you can set up a digital grocery list, enter expiry dates, mark who owns what food with notes like “touch dad’s ice cream and be prepared to feel the wrath”. It can even link up to the living room TV so when it’s your turn to grab a round during Superbowl you won’t miss the commercials.
Not a football fan, that’s cool, you can use it to cook right alongside super chef Bobby Flay or Rachel Ray. You can also keep the weather queued up for when you leave for work and it will play music which is big for me, I love to cook and it is rarely in silence. Here is a link to a video of me scream singing to Dave Matthews youtube.justkidding.com hahaha sorry, you wouldn’t want to see that I promise.
If you want to wait until the price of these fridges start to come down there a few separate gadgets you can buy to upgrade your existing fridge like mats that measure the weight of the milk jug and notify your phone when it’s low, perfect for the carton crowd. As for the in fridge cameras you can buy aftermarket versions too.
As for the horizon I wouldn’t be surprised if fridges will be ordering your regular items through Amazon or at least tracking inventory for you by way of scanners or something.
The Slow Cooker – Another one of my favourites. I am a chili and stew kinda guy and, as I mentioned, a busy dad so I lean on this little helper as much as possible. I will probably lean on it a little more once I get my hands on a new and improved version.
There isn’t as much going on here technologically, in comparison to the first two appliances but they have solved a major issue for me. My biggest issue with the slow cooker comes down again to my absent mindedness. Let’s see if this is a familiar scenario for anyone else.
– I plan a meal that takes 8hrs on low.
– I don’t remember to put it on until just before bed.
– Then I start doing the math in my head:
“Well if I put it on now it’s only 7 hrs until I leave for work, if I put it on in the morning then by the time I get home it will have been in for 11hrs, and so on.
The new and improved version will be smartphone friendly with an app that lets you start it whenever from wherever, adjust temperature or time and let you turn it off. If they decide to combine this with the style that has a built in meat thermometer I may be able to ditch the oven all together…on second thought, the oven is where I cook my bacon so scratch that last comment.
For my last gadget I was going to write about the stove but to be honest, based on what I have found, the new stove tech is kind of lackluster. The way tech goes, give it 3 or 4 months and I am sure something groundbreaking will pop up.
I could write a novel on what is out there and what is in the horizon in the way of techy kitchen gadgets and upgrades but, as I said, you only have so much time and I’d like for some of that time to be used to read my other blogs, so I will forego the novel…for now.
Here is a list of things that really caught my eye while researching that I didn’t mention.
Smart plate – basically a scale and cameras that will examine dinner and shame you for your oversized portion…oh and track nutrition and such.
Smart fork – tracks eating habits.
Amazon dash wand – scans kitchen supplies and puts them on grocery list, also links up with Alexa voice to order items, read recipes, or convert measurements. I will be getting this so I don’t have to touch my phone screen with raw cake batter 15 times.
Genie can – garbage can with a scanner that can make a list of what you’ve thrown out and, like the dash wand, order it through Amazon.
Basically if you think it would be convenient, expect to see it in the near future. With all this focus on weight loss and dieting I am still waiting for someone to make a pantry safe that stores a month’s worth of my favourite chocolate or treat and only lets me have one a day instead of a whole package, maybe that will curb my addiction…I doubt it but it’s worth a shot.