Technological innovation used to begin in the kitchen. Many of a home’s most significant technological advances — from dishwashers to microwaves — revolved around saving labor in the kitchen. Recently, however, we’ve been more focused on improving communications than in saving labor. Kitchen appliances no longer seemed the focus of technological advances in the home.
That’s about to change. Corning recently released this fascinating video of its vision for daily life in the not-too-distant future.
The kitchen depicted in the video is practically here. Big appliance manufacturers such as GE, Samsung and Whirlpool have been partnering with technology powerhouses like Cisco and Microsoft to create a futuristic array of products. Appliances are already on the market that can keep you connected online, update shopping lists, provide recipe ideas, record voice messages and more.
It may take a few years for people to embrace the most cutting edge innovations, but we’ve compiled a short list of products and technologies that we think will be popular in 2012 and for the long term:
- Induction cooking– A whole different way of cooking in which an electromagnetic field excites molecules in iron or steel cookware to create rapid, energy-efficient heat. Induction cooking has been popular in Europe for some time, but is only starting to catch on in the U.S. We think time-crunched homeowners will enjoy the faster cooking times and reduced energy consumption offered by induction cooktops.
- Steam ovens – A steam oven relies entirely on steam to cook food. The steam retains the moisture content and vitamins in food and is considered a healthier way to cook.
- Internet access & Wifi in appliances– We’re connected everywhere else, so why not in the kitchen? LED video screens in the refrigerator door are a natural choice for households in which the kitchen is command central. Samsung offers a refrigerator with a wi-fi enabled, 8-inch LCD touch screen. Apps for the touch screen include Pandora music, Google calendar, AP news, Weatherbug forecasts, quick Twitter access, Epicurious recipes, and Picasa photos.
- Smart touch screen controls – Touch pads have been around a long time, but new interfaces enable touch pads to function like mini-computers. Some smart stoves even have full color touch screens with recipe memory and recall.
Since the life of an appliance typically is 10-20 years, the greatest challenge for homeowners will be to make choices that stand the test of time. Our team at Encore stays on top of all the latest trends and developments to help you make an informed selection.