2018 is just the start of big changes for kitchen technology. New developments in technology will make tasks like preheating your oven from your smartphone seem ho hum. New options in lighting, storage solutions, and smart appliances will help us not only be better organized in the kitchen but will make our kitchens look more elegant, too.
To start, LED lighting technology is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to add sophistication and functionality to kitchen cabinets, whether the lights are used inside the cabinets to illuminate fine china or underneath the cabinets for food preparation.
Fluorescent bulbs have long been the only option for cabinet lighting, but the cool color can make a kitchen feel cold and harsh. Today, kitchen design experts are switching to low voltage, energy-efficient LED bulbs, which can be installed nearly anywhere without being obtrusive. New technology delivers softer, warmer hues that create elegant, eye-catching silhouettes when designed and installed properly, especially with dimmer switches.
Also in the realm of visual appeal and function, power strips are taking on a more sophisticated role in the kitchen. Now more than ever, kitchen outlets are in high demand thanks to all our cell phones, laptops, and tablets, not to mention the coffee maker, toaster, microwave, etc. Our kitchen countertops can quickly be consumed with cords and chargers, which is why new designs in power strip designs are so useful. Slim, angled power strips can be customized to fit under a countertop overhang or under cabinets, for example. The effect is more modern and functional than the traditional outlet on the wall.
Another way to keep charging cords off the countertops is to incorporate a charging station into the kitchen design. Quite often this is a dedicated cabinet drawer where the family’s devices can be stored while they’re charging, freeing up valuable counter space and outlets. The drawer design is also smart because it keeps the devices safe from kitchen spills.
Touchless faucets are also finding their way into our kitchens, which could be quite useful. For example, let’s say you’re handling raw chicken or meat and want to turn on the faucet to wash your hands. With a voice activated touchless faucet, you can instruct the faucet to turn the warm water on. There are also trash pull outs that operate with sensors at the floor.
Finally, appliances are going high-tech. Samsung's Family Hub smart refrigerator has two cameras inside that allow you to view the contents from an app on your phone. That’s pretty handy when you’re at the store and aren’t sure if your teenage son drank all the milk or not. It also has an HD touchscreen that can be used to do online searches, stream music, or shop for groceries.
But the real glory is the smart refrigerator’s ability to communicate with other appliances. For example, if it’s synced to a smart blender, the two appliances can cooperate on what type of smoothie you can make depending on which ingredients you have on hand. And if you don’t have those mangoes that you really wanted for a smoothie, the refrigerator can reorder those as well.
It’s not just the refrigerator that’s becoming interactive, either. German brand Miele’s Invisible Kitchen concept connects appliances like cooktops through interactive touchscreen technology. An “invisible” (or flush to the counter) work surface can recognise ingredients placed on it and then calculate information such as how much the item weighs and how best to prepare it.
Invisible cooktops can also identify which pot the ingredients are in and then cook them according to a preset recipe. Miele claims the system is “tantamount to being a cooking adviser that provides the assistance needed before things can go wrong.”
Whether it’s cleverly placed lighting and power strips, or high-tech faucets and appliances, the kitchen of the future is definitely sleek and smart. What new technology elements would you want to add to your kitchen? We’d love to hear about it.
Edesia is a Best Of Houzz award winner for client satisfaction in 2017 and 2018. If you’re thinking of renovating your kitchen or bath, view some of Edesia’s projects and reviews on Houzz. Then, take advantage of our free consultation and estimate, with competitive pricing, by contacting us online or calling (781) 238-8800.