What’s the future of the kitchen? It seems like we hear a different answer every year come CES. At CES 2016, Andrea Smith talked with Shannon Blakely of Whirlpool about some of the guiding principles the company is using to guide the development of the appliances of the future.
Whirlpool is focusing on smart technology, but actually smart. Their idea of the kitchen of the future is one that thinks for itself, giving you helpful hints and little bits of unseen assistance throughout the day. Blakely talked about a lot of simple features that might not move units independently, but will be no-brainer inclusions for appliances down the road. For example, imagine a refrigerator that could suggest recipes based on what you already have inside (while avoiding any food allergies in the family if you do need to go shopping). Those kinds of apps already exist, but putting that functionality in refrigerators and having them rely on in-fridge cams that can identify individual ingredients would save that much more time.
Of course, future appliances have to be both smart and connected — like humans, machines are a lot smarter when they work with others. Blakely talks about a pantry that could detect you taking out a bag of popcorn and telling the microwave to adjust its settings accordingly. This idea can even extend outside of the house — GPS tracking could identify when a school bus is coming early or late, allowing families to change their morning routines as needed.
It’s nothing mindblowing, but sometimes, that’s the best kind of technology — little changes that make a world of difference, especially for busy families.
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