The House of the future is big business, and if you’re a true tech-head, transforming your abode and keeping it up to date is probably high on the to-do list.
At present nobody has designed a gadget that cooks your dinner and then does the washing up – well, not yet anyway, but fingers crossed!
However, the home gadgets and technology we do have now are more handy than the generation before us could have ever predicted, if 1950’s Sci Fi and The Jetsons is anything to go by.
At present there aren’t that many ways you can automate your kitchen, as other parts of the home have been the focus of designers. The living room’s entertainment quarter has been a big focus for the electronics market as on demand services, fast broadband speeds, improved picture/sound quality, wireless technology and smart phones continue to change our viewing habits. Not to mention the kitchen hosts a whole range of hazards when it comes to electronics such as water and fire.
However, there are a few ways you can include automation into your kitchen. Here are our top picks…
Storage is Key
With space always at a premium finding ways to store, and more importantly hide, your kitchen clutter is a must. On too many occasions you’ll find your cooking space crammed with cooking implements and general fodder born from too much stuff and not enough storage.
If you have an ‘island style’ kitchen sideboard then one way to achieve hiding your wares is by installing a pop up shelf. You can then stow away everything, from your spice rack to your microwave. A spotless kitchen is an efficient kitchen and ways of achieving this are always going to be welcome.
The hardest part of installing a pop up storage facility is cutting the counters down. You may need to bring in a professional if you’re not DIY minded and although this may cost additional pounds, the finished design will be well worth it. The pop up shelf can be remotely triggered by a nifty little control pad hidden away keeping the aesthetic integrity of your kitchen intact and adding to the shelves’ techy appeal.
The butter wizard is a unique little trinket that no kitchen should be without.
The taste of real butter is incomparable and anything that allows the ambient temperature of butter to remain at the optimum is welcome. This is exactly what the Butter Wizard does! Sitting on a recharging station and featuring a snuggly fitting lid the Butter Wizard comes in five different funky designs. You’re butter will never be too soft or hard ever again…
Create an iKitchen
This idea kills two birds with one stone by finding a use for a disused computer and tricking out your kitchen at the same time.
If you have an old PC knocking about then, as long as it’s capable of running Windows XP, you can rig it up with a barcode scanner and keep tabs on your food items.
For those of you who fancy going one step further then you could even install (in discreet fashion) a touch screen tablet or PC that gives you broadband accessibility right at the heart of your kitchen domain. Rig it up to a decent surround sound speaker system and you’ll end up with what Hacker Ryan of Studio Blog affectionately refers to as the “iKitchen”.
Astound your friends with your space age like kitchen – you’ll be the envy of all of them while knocking up quick spaghetti bolognaise.
If you can’t be bothered to change the height of the shelves in your fridge then consider getting hold of a Thermador Freedom Refrigerator. This clever piece of kit not only keeps your fresh produce nice and cold, you also have the facility to adjust the shelves at the touch of a button – no more fiddling with shelf heights!
Newcastle University recently installed their ‘Ambient Kitchen’ utilising RFID technology. RFID is a form of intelligent barcode. The installed software monitors scanned items in your kitchen cupboards and then displays relevant recipe recommendations and related web posts on the kitchen walls.
In essence the Ambient Kitchen is an area that responds to your activity and links that behaviour to sympathetic web content. You can create alerts, such as dementia patients’ prescription reminders, and keep on top of your weekly shop.
The University is constantly updating and tweaking the features that are installed but this is an example of what we all could have as standard in a few years. Chances are we’ll never get to the perfect point of technology bliss when it comes to home gadgets. Smart phone apps are getting more innovative every day and wireless is being built into practically everything. Who’s to say you won’t be able to get your oven heated or defrost food before you get in from work very soon? Fresh new ideas are emerging all the time, so what is “the next big thing today” could be replaced completely by something better tomorrow.
The possibilities are seemingly endless.