Slowly but surely, technology has staked its claim on everything, including the kitchen sink. From how and where we drive our cars to syncing family calendars, we depend on it to make our lives easier and more efficient. It was just a matter of time and money before smart kitchens arrived on the scene, ready to take us to the next level three times a day.
The appliances you choose are the foundation of your smart kitchen. With remote access from your smartphone, monitoring and controlling your appliances saves you time. For instance, preheating the GE oven while you’re still on your way home from work gets dinner on the table faster, ultimately giving you more time in the evening to relax.
Samsung and LG both offer WiFi-connected refrigerators. They come with tablets built into the outside of the door, giving you access to recipes and grocery lists, and they even have the ability to make phone calls. Some smart refrigerators can scan your fridge for products nearing their expiration date, alerting you use them or lose them.
Even slow cookers have upped their game. If you’re someone who loves your slow cooker for its convenience, not to mention the aroma when you walk in the door, smart slow cookers are just that much better. From an app on your smartphone, you can lower or raise the temperature, set it to warm, or turn it off or on. With this access and control, you’ll be able to expand your recipe variety, enjoying better and maybe even healthier meals.
Our favorite smart kitchen appliance has to be the smart dishwasher. Whirlpool offers a variety of smart dishwashers with a lot of different options. You can start a load from your phone, set the temperature, or even run an extra rinse or dry cycle. Imagine you’ve crawled in to bed after a long day only to realize you forgot to run the dishwasher. Instead of padding across the house, all you have to do is reach over and turn on your phone. Seconds later, the dishes are running, and you’re still tucked beneath your covers.
Beyond the major appliances, every accessory you can imagine is either already available or is in development. Smart margarita mixers, kitchen scales with recipe databases that don’t even require measuring cups and spoons, water bath cookers for perfect steaks or veggies—all developed with smart technology are transforming pretty much anything you’d ever attempt at your kitchen counter.
Smart Kitchens Make the World a Better Place
Almost everyone knows what it’s like to open the fridge holding a large garbage bag and grapple with the crushing guilt that goes along with throwing out perfectly good food that has gone bad. Waste is a problem in most developed countries.
With smart technology, this guilt-inducing habit can change. When you know what products are about to spoil, your fridge sends you an alert, and you remember to use them before they go bad.
Basic inventory technology gives you recipe ideas based on what you already have, so you aren’t wasting money on ingredients you don’t need. When things are easier, we humans seem to do better at remembering to be conscientious. Smart kitchens are definitely making it easier for us to make a difference.
Things to Think About
However, smart kitchens aren’t perfect. Consider the cost, for instance. Smart appliances aren’t affordable for the average consumer yet. As we all know, the longer a technology sticks around, the cheaper it gets.
Taking some time to save up might be the best way to join the smart kitchen revolution. Hopefully by the time you’ve raised some cash, prices will come down and you’ll get more bang for your buck.
It’s also true that kitchen smart technology is in its infancy. No doubt improvements will be made in the coming years, bugs will be worked out, and new features will be added. Again, there’s no harm in waiting to invest. In fact, you’ll benefit from the experience—positive and negative—of others.
How to Protect Your Smart Kitchen
A lot of people are worried about the security of smart kitchen technologies. Are they safe? Do they make your home a more likely target for hackers? These are good questions you should always ask yourself when setting up a new gadget or technology.
For most people, the answers are yes, they’re safe, and it’s unlikely someone will hack your kitchen. If you have a router, it should be protected by a strong, hard-to-guess, password. For instance, don’t use your last name or your address. You’re pretty much asking for someone to break in if you use such easy passwords.
Make sure your network equipment, such as your router, is up to date. Old equipment is easier to hack. If you’re set up with a basic but secure home network, you’re probably just fine.
The development of smart kitchens is exciting. The same technology that brought us online banking and Google Maps is now doing our dishes and tackling food waste. While still expensive, smart kitchens are already saving us time. The temptation to eat out disappears, you save money, and your overall health is improved.
Smart refrigerators help us cook from ingredients we already have, eliminating that quick trip to the store. Smart ovens get the oven preheating before you’ve walked in the door, or smart slow cookers help you make healthier, better-tasting meals than ever before.
In our busy lives, all these minor conveniences combined are worth their weight in gold. Running the household doesn’t have to include hours in the kitchen anymore, giving you the freedom to enjoy your life, family and friends even more.
Let us know what you think! Are smart kitchens worth the price tag? If so, what benefits are most attractive to you?