Interactive and connected kitchen appliances- changing the way we live?
As kitchen technology advances and revolutionary products are being introduced to our homes the way modern families cook is adapting at a rapid pace.
These products have the capability to talk to each other and they can interact with our own personal smart technology - but is it having negative effects on the way we prepare and eat food in our homes?
There has been a large rise in smart kitchen technology over the past three years. A recent innovative entry for consumers was Samsung’s Family Hub Refrigerator, which combines a WiFi enabled touch screen with integrated cameras, enabling groceries to be monitored and ordered whether in the home or remotely through a smart device.
Ovens, grills and frying pans have also been made intelligent. These appliances can decide when food is cooked based on weight and density. Couple this with Bluetooth enabled cutlery that helps you lose weight by alerting you if you are eating too quickly, machines that can determine the drink it will produce based on your fingerprint and you are introduced to the future of the culinary world.
Are they beneficial?
This new era of connected kitchens gives control over appliances from smart devices, whether you are in your home, at work or the supermarket. These appliances are able to determine when something it cooked and even clean themselves, taking the hard work away for a generation for whom time is becoming precious.
The average time spent in kitchens has been halved over the last thirty years and advancing technology is enabling this time to decrease even further. The interaction between devices has progressed so far that your Fitbit can activate your coffee maker as soon as it registers that you are awake. Our kitchens are now able to integrate seamlessly with our personal technology making cooking an easy experience for everyone.
With minimal human interaction comes minimal effort. Is our increasing reliance on this technology a good thing? We no longer have the need to think about how our meals are cooked; the need to go out shopping has become redundant and our appliances now give us direction as opposed to us being in control. The question is, how much of this control are we willing to leave in the hands of our appliances?
Smart Ovens - what are they?
Many top-end manufacturers such as Electrolux, Bosch and Whirlpool are now offering pyrolytic and steam oven solutions to make cooking and maintaining ovens an easy experience.
Pyrolysis technology takes away the often laborious process of cleaning an oven and steam ovens can offer healthier cooking options delivering the perfect meal, every time.
Pyrolytic ovens clean themselves by removing the oxygen from within the oven and heating the inside up to 500°C. At this temperature the grease within the oven simply burns off and is reduced to a pile of ash in the bottom, which can be simply wiped away with a damp cloth. Integrated self-locking doors ensure the oven is safe when in use and a cleaning cycle can be completed in as little as 90 minutes.
Steaming uses hot vaporised water to raise food temperature. By eliminating the use of oils the amount of fat is significantly reduced, offering much healthier cooking options. Integrated smart technology lets you know when your chicken is perfectly cooked, ensures food can never be burnt and that it is always cooked to perfection.
Advances in technology will continue to change the way we operate within our homes. We are now able to communicate with our appliances with ease through the use of smart phones, removing the stress and hassle that can accompany cooking.
But not everyone sees cooking as drudgery. For the keen cook perhaps the creative process and attention to detail is important, and no manner of smart technology will impress them.
Although, for those where time is limited, this offers a solution to keep home cooked meals central to busy lifestyles.
It will be interesting to see how far technology in the kitchen can go and whether or not it will be totally embraced by the consumer.