Thoughtful and Value-Adding Innovation Will Bring Major Changes to the Kitchen of the Future
By Beverly Smirnis
“Smart home,” “The Internet of Things,” and “connected appliances” are now standard phrases in our modern lexicon. Given that the kitchen is an area of the home where the highest of expectations lie, appliance manufacturers and product specifiers must weigh all sides of the equation. No matter how connected any kitchen appliance may be, there is no tolerance for clutter or complexity and no substitute for capability.
Alexa Please Prepare the Dinner
The latest ranges allow users to remotely preheat, change modes, and adjust oven temperature. Fridges are capable of monitoring and adjusting zone temperatures and ice production and sending alerts if the door is left ajar and when filters need replacing. Dishwashers can remotely monitor and adjust cleaning cycles and track detergent pod supply and rinse aid levels. Most connected appliances also offer suggestions— from recipes, to mode or cycle suggestions for the optimal performance.
Customizable, Clean and Capable
Modern families expect their food storage and cooking appliances at home to be on par with that of a five-star restaurant from the standpoint of both aesthetics and performance. The ability to customize fridge/freezer/wine storage unit combinations and fit them seamlessly together, often disguising them with cabinet panels, is a huge trend in open concept floor plans where the emphasis is on clean, uncluttered design. In a world where space is a premium and less is more, products that can serve multi-purposes and to save space and reduce clutter are standouts.
Goodbye to separate pizza ovens, steam ovens, and maybe even the microwave!
Once upon a time, cooking perfectly and precisely often required the use of multiple appliances. A combination of innovative thinking and modern technology stepped in to change this, too. KitchenAid’s Smart Oven+ features three interchangeable, oven-powered attachments that expand the creative horizons of a wall oven to include grilling, baking and steaming within one appliance. How about a first-of-its-kind built-in sous vide range from LG Electronics’ Signature Kitchen Suite? With LG’s product, you won’t need a bulky, expensive, separate, stand-alone appliance to master the cooking technique that everyone is talking about. The GE Advantium is four ovens in one—there’s no need for a separate toaster oven, broiler, convection oven or even microwave. Tell your Advantium oven you’re sticking a frozen piece of chicken in there, and let it do the work of switching between various forms of cooking for optimal quality.
The Wireless Power Consortium promotes an emerging standard for wireless power in the kitchen that builds on the success of the Qi standard for wireless charging of mobile devices. This forthcoming standard defines how to wirelessly deliver up to 2200 watts of power to smart cordless kitchen appliances – from blenders and mixers to more versatile cooktops – allowing enabled appliances to operate without the clutter of cords. Small appliances are powered by placing them over power transmitters installed in enabled induction cooktops or underneath any standard non-metal countertop surface, cooktop or table. Not only does this technology enable a crisp, clean modern look uncluttered by wires, but it creates new flexibility such that a single countertop can serve as a food prep area, cooktop and eating surface for space-constrained kitchens.
The sum total must please every discriminating homeowner.
To describe forward-thinking home chefs who are passionate about cooking and appreciate technological innovations that help make their lives easier and more convenient, LG Appliances coined the trademarked term, Technicurean™. Busy families with children will expect their kitchen to be a place to do homework, a gathering spot for a shared daily meal, and a space to minimize wasted cooking time and effort. Even those who rarely cook but love to entertain will appreciate a kitchen where the focus is on clean design and an open layout. Technicureans and every other type of homeowner out there in the modern world expects the latest and best in technology and innovation in their kitchens!
Beverly Smirnis is the co-founder of Building Savvy magazine and publishes its flagship Dallas/Fort Worth edition. She and her business partner and husband, Steve Smirnis, have served as judges for the International Builders’ Show Best of IBS Awards, for the Greater Houston Builders Association Prism Awards, for the Greater Orlando Builders Association Parade of Homes and for the Building Industry Association of Okaloosa-Walton Counties’ Parade of Homes.