For literally decades we’ve been hearing about the coming digital kitchen–how soon our appliances will know what we want before we want it, and slaving over a hot stove will be a thing of the past. Well, I don’t want to stop cooking altogether, our relationship with food is part of how humans form community. But I do want some of these smart appliances, like, yesterday.
1. The Snail – Micro Induction Heater
Forget putting your food in the microwave (it only destroys nutrients anyway). Put the microwave on your food instead. The Snail is a portable heating and cooking device powered by a high density sugar crystal battery. It can be stuck directly on to a pot, a pan, a mug etc., to quickly heat the contents. Integrated sensors detect the food type being heated so as to automatically adjust the time and temperature. A simple touch sensitive display with interface helps to monitor the process.
2. Rapidcool – Vortex Beverage Chiller
V-Tex was developed as a low energy use, low cost rapid cooling technology that enables pre-packed beverages to be stored at ambient temperature and then, if required, rapidly chilled at the point of sale or consumption. No longer will you need to wait hours for that white wine to reach drinkable temperature: just insert the bottle into the V-Tex and in a mere 45 seconds it’ll be perfectly chilled. Designers say this technology could drastically reduce the amount of energy we use for refrigeration.
3. Kitchen Hub – Food Inventory Controller
Kitchen Hub is a finalist in the 2013 Electrolux Design Lab, and I’m convinced it will be a must have for the future digital kitchen. This electronic “plate” has four main functions: 1) the Nutritional tool helps customize portion size based on the user, 2) the Food Stock tool allows you to see how much of each type of food you have in the house 3) the Smart Shopping tool allows you to shop for groceries online while cross-referencing what you’ve already got, and 4) the Recipes tool shows you what to make with the food you’ve already got–all of which helps you eat healthy while reducing food waste.
4. Water Recycling Dishwasher
GE recently revealed its Home 2025, once again making predictions about technologies that will revolutionize our home life. One of my favorite concepts is the water recycling dishwasher. In the future, says GE, “Household appliances must use minimal water, or be able use recycled water. Advances in filtration and sanitization technology will help keep laundry and dishwasher appliances from getting too thirsty. Gray water from the dishwasher in GE’s Home 2025 is recycled back through and can be used for the sustainable growing wall, where herbs and vegetables are harvested.”
5. HAPIfork – Slow Eating Tool
How long does it take you to eat lunch? Be honest: 10 minutes? 20? Forget chewing each bite 20 times, do you even sit down? Eating too quickly causes poor digestion and can make it difficult to manage your weight. Originally developed by Slow Control for clinical or medical use, HAPIfork is an electronic utensil that monitors and tracks eating habits. It also alerts you with the help of indicator lights and gentle vibrations when you are eating too fast.
6. Chop-Syc – Touchscreen Cutting Board
Created by Sharp intern Siobhán Andrews, this smart appliance is what would happen if your cutting board had a one night stand with your iPad. Chop-Syc is “a tablet with a custom software and a scratch-proof surface designed to be used in the kitchen. In addition to functioning as a surface for slicing and dicing, the tablet includes a recipe manager, a scale and a visualizer to help you measure out (healthy) serving sizes of food, such as pasta,” reports Engadget.
7. The Kitchen Hideaway – Virtual Food Prep
There’s a very good chance that tomorrow’s digital kitchens will be located in communal residences. As the cities become more dense, why waste perfectly good space on individual kitchens when several families could share one? The Kitchen Hideaway builds on this possibility using virtual reality. Instead of venturing down to the shared kitchen, which might be located in the basement, you could just don this helmet. Your thoughts would then direct the actions of smart appliances located in the digital kitchen. With this device, kitchens could be built in an efficient way that would be too small for humans, but comfy for robot chefs.
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