Where are kitchen gadgets going?
3 predictions from 6 kitchen gadgets.
Have you ever thought about how it’s no big deal to pour a bowl of cereal for breakfast or reheat something in the microwave. Maybe not. If you really thought about it though, you might be amazed at how our kitchens have become so much more accessible and convenient.
In the US around the late 1800s, breakfast cereal revolutionized the most important meal of the day. Oats and grains didn’t have to be stewed for hours in order to be digested, moms could serve up breakfast quickly allowing her to focus on other things.
After WWII the microwave was introduced to homes, allowing meal prep to move even faster. While TV Dinners aren’t a gadget, the tool to make them was and allowed for more convenience at home.
Having traveled recently in France, one thing I saw was a high tech insta-pot with pre-programmed recipes. Dump in the ingredients, type in the recipe number, and out pops a high quality stew or roast or soup or whatever. The goal of this product is to make the kitchen (and French cooking) even more accessible.
We’re now almost two decades into the 21st century and kitchens continue to become more accessible. That’s the direction I see things continuing.
While you may be thinking, “That’s a bit of a stretch!” Consider this: it’s easier than ever to be green in your kitchen. We think this trend will continue and is showing through in the other items on this list below. Here are some of our favorites:
Stop Throwing Away Food
We already wrote about this product in our 10 things you didn’t know you needed for your kitchen post. And it deserves another mention here. It can be hard to remember what you have in your fridge. [Find it here.]
Use less water to clean up
It’s not just food waste we need to think about, there’s also water waste. Agriculture uses up loads of water, and while we might not be able to change what we eat easily, we can adjust how much water we’re using at home. This dishwasher can wash and sanitize your dishes with just a glass of water. There’s no need to connect it to your plumbing. Dishwashers are already the most efficient for water savings, this goes even further. [Find it here.]
Grow your own food
Herbs are pretty forgiving plants, I’ve found. Even if I forget to water my mint or basil, it can be coaxed back to life when I remember to care for it. Excuses like “no garden, no yard” or “I’m not a green thumb” just don’t cut it anymore. It’s easy to grow your own greens and salads with indoor/outdoor hydroponics towers. You’ll have fresh salad greens without any sweat, saving you trips to the supermarket and being even healthier with what you cook. [Find it here]
Even though we are always connected to our phones (I expect it’s not more than a couple feet away even as you read this!), we are able to use our voice to control so much more. Gone are the days of flashing 12:00 on the VCR, our devices set their own time and respond when we call them.
Assistants are at the ready
Once you’ve cooked with a Google Home or Alexa you quickly realize the benefits. For one, I completely stopped using my oven’s timer. You can name timers simply and have multiple going at once. Not only that, Google Assistant can read off recipes step by step. No more touching your phone with messy fingers. Great recipes and simple reminders in the kitchen are uncomplicated, just use the power of your voice. I’ve found Google Home to be a little smarter for my kitchen needs, recipes are seamless and I can send shopping lists to my Android phone easily. I highly recommend this for making your kitchen smarter and cooking even more effortless, and it’s right on trend. [Find the Echo Dot here]
At least your kitchen sink will listen to you
Hands free is going across the kitchen. While I expect automatic oven and fridge doors may never come, faucets for your kitchen sink are running with handsfree. Similar to themes above, chances are this will save some water usage. Wave your hand and you have a stream of water, another wave and it’s off. Not only that, this faucet responds to requests. “Pour 4 cups of water” and you get a precisely measured pour. That’s pretty smart and makes excuses about measuring or not being precise a thing of the past. [Find it here]
Connections between all these connected gadgets
At times it feels like a Space Race of sorts right in our own homes. Most of the connected gadgets on this site, and even on this list, have their own app. This means we have to sync with multiple apps to really get the benefit. That runs counter the ease-of-use argument, things might be a little more complicated.
See what’s inside your fridge from anywhere
This seems to be the combination of all the things above. You’re seamlessly controlling and managing life in the kitchen without being active. You’re saving resources simply by being in the know. While those are improving convenience and ease in the kitchen, this product requires you to use its own app. [Find it here]
That’s the story with most of the gadgets on this list and that you’ll find for your kitchen. If you don’t use the app, the product is next to worthless. While that’s the case, the threshold for the gadget is far lower than the alternative: a top of the line refrigerator from Samsung with cameras for the same purpose.
These tools are making life in the kitchen
painless and easy, albeit slightly more complicated
with all the software required…
This is where I see things going in the future.
We will have a web of connected devices controlled by a central hub. Maybe that’s your fridge, maybe that’s your Google or Alexa assistant, or maybe that’s through a central phone app running through APIs. It seems appliance makers want their fridge to be the hub. Maybe food brands or FMCG brands or Amazon will buy up various tools in the kitchen and link them into one tool. And something tells me that’s already happening.
So what’s next? Any products or themes we missed that better predict the future of kitchen gadgets? Please share with us!