Home automation is a major trend in consumer electronics. Here at CES 2014, that trend is making its way into the kitchen, with myriad smart refrigerators, smart ovens, smart dishwashers and even a smart crock pot on display. If it’s in your kitchen, tech companies are working on making it smart.
Some new kitchen tech, though, is smarter than others. Which of these tech products will be in your kitchen in ten years, and which will be the ill-fated spiritual successor to the Whirlpool Polara oven-and-refrigerator-in-one? Take a look at the fanciful futuristic appliances that caught our eye at CES 2014 and judge for yourself.
A Dishwasher that Works by Text
Having trouble remembering whether the dishes in the dishwasher are clean or dirty? Soon, with LG’s new HomeChat connected dishwasher and appliance suite, you’ll be able to text your dishwasher to get the answer.
HomeChat uses the Line mobile messaging service to give you access to all your LG appliances’ features simply by asking for them in plain English. You can start the wash,request status updates and even set energy-saving away modes, all from your smartphone, laptop and desktop. The service offers push notifications as well.
LG’s HomeChat will be available across the company’s line of 2014 appliances, including refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, ovens and even robot vacuums.
Fridge Inside a Fridge
Every time you open your refrigerator door, you’re wasting electricity. But what if your could see inside to pick out what you want before pulling it open? And better yet, what if the stuff you seldom use (I’m looking at you, fast food ketchup packets) could be kept in a separate compartment so it stays cold when you raid the fridge for snacks? That, essentially, is the operating idea behind Samsung’s new Food Showcase Refrigerator.
Frequently accessed items are stored in the three-zone front showcase area, with upper access for holding soft drinks and a kid-friendly lower level for healthy snacks and juice boxes. This showcase area acts as a door of its own for deeper storage, helping you reduce cooling costs. And since it’s a refrigerator of the future, everything is controlled by touch sensors in the handle.
The Samsung Food Showcase Refrigerator will be available for purchase later this year wherever high-end kitchen appliances are sold. Pricing has yet to be announced.
Nowadays, it seems like virtually everything in your home can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet. The WiFi-enabled Discovery IQ 48” Dual-Fuel Range by Dacor brings these remote smartphone controls right to your kitchen stove, giving you the freedom to cook meals with confidence even when you’re not in the kitchen.
The most noticeable feature of this high-end dual oven range is the full-color touch control screen that helps you read recipes and give precise cooking instructions. And indeed, the Discovery IQ range has a lot to control: There’s a four-part convection system, six burners that automatically reignite, six cooking modes, and self-cleaning. All this can be controlled directly from your Apple iOS or Android device.
As if WiFi controls aren’t enough, the Discovery IQ stove also features a built-in digital meat thermometer. When your roast gets to the perfect internal temperature, the oven switches into a “hold” mode to keep your food warm, safely. As far as how safe it is to cook food while you’re not watching over it in the kitchen … well, that’s up to you to judge.
The Dacor Discovery IQ 48” Dual-Fuel Range is available from select distributors at a suggested retail price of $11,999.