The concept of a ‘smart home’ is becoming increasingly popular, where nearly everything, from air conditioning to lighting, can be controlled by your phone or tablet.
These inventions are designed to make our lives easier and, for the most part, they do.
It’s perhaps no wonder then why the kitchen is becoming the focal point for all this new technology — anything to make cooking and cleaning the dishes easier!
We have a look at the latest designs to help create your very own ‘smart kitchen'.
We’ve previously touched on what a smart fridge can bring to your home. A screen that allows you to see inside does seem rather unnecessary, and maybe even a bit lazy, but either way, it brings a lot of other benefits.
The Samsung Family Hub is a good place to start when looking for a smart fridge. It comes with all sorts of different conveniences designed to make life in the kitchen a little easier.
Sure, you can see what’s inside your fridge without having to open the door, but connect it to your compatible smartphone and you can see what’s inside anywhere. It also automatically tags food expiration dates and lets you create a shopping list, food memos or reminders.
Your whole family can connect into your fridge to leave notes, show photos or draw pictures, creating a new fun way to interact. It also synchronises with your calendar, so you’ll never miss a family event again.
The screen can also mirror exactly what’s on your smartphone or TV. So if you want to watch the soccer game while cooking up a storm, don’t worry about leaving the living room — you won’t miss any of the action.
You can even control the rest of your home from your fridge door. Using just your voice or a simple touch on the refrigerator’s home screen and you can control compatible smart appliances.
When you search for smart ovens, the majority of the results you’ll turn up are based around smart mini ovens, like this one from Breville.
But the Hoover Vision is one that breaks away from this mould, offering a fully functional smart screen and connectivity designed to rival the likes of the Samsung Family Hub.
The screen is undeniably large — it takes up the entire door. It’s also full of features, allowing you to select temperature, cooking times, and one of ten programs from the on-screen controls.
The screen always shows the current oven temperature and reveals a graph of the fluctuations in heat when you open the door. An HD camera allows you to get a live feed of the inside, meaning you don’t have to open the door to see how your baking is going.
There are also a load of pre-loaded recipes, and if you use one, the oven will take the cooking setting automatically — so you can just press ‘start’ to cook.
The bad news for Australians — it’s currently just available in the UK. However, don’t worry, because GE appliances offer WiFi-connected ovens here. Using their app, you can preheat your oven from wherever you have internet connectivity.
Unfortunately, there’s not a dishwasher on the market that will load the dishes for you yet. But, until that point, there are dishwashers that can connect to your smartphones.
One of the top models on the market is, once again, from Samsung with the Linear Wash 39 dBA. It has a load of clever features, like a linear wash system that provides corner to corner coverage, and a zone booster, which provides an additional water stream to the bottom left area for hard to clean pots and pans.
The WiFi connectivity it brings allows the user to remotely monitor and control the appliance from a smartphone, so you can see how long the wash has left or stop the cycle from anywhere in the home. Once it’s done, the door automatically opens to help the drying process.
To be fair to this product, it does more than just blend, but it’s hard to appropriately categorise the thermomix.
The most recent release, the TM6, replaces over 12 appliances in one sleek, compact unit. It allows you to chop, beat, blend, whip, weigh, mill, knead, mince, and more at the touch of a button.
With WiFi connectivity as standard, you can browse over 50,000 recipes directly on the 15.2cm x 20.3cm touchscreen. Your thermomix will guide you step-by-step through recipes and will inform you when to add each ingredient. It then presets the time, temperature and speed for great results every time.
Why just stop at your main appliances when there are so many smaller gadgets you can introduce into your kitchen to make your life a little easier?
The Drop Scale, for example, allows you to view the weight of your food mixtures right on your phone or tablet using the Drop Recipes App. If you want to then use more of a certain ingredient, the app will calculate how much of the other ingredients you need to balance the dish.
Enhance your lighting experience in the kitchen with a Phillips Hue and introduce wireless dimming, routines and timers with ease. Connect them up to a Google Home or an Amazon Alexa and never have to touch a light switch again.
Connect all your appliances together, have access to them on your phone, and you’ve got yourself your very own fully operational smart kitchen.