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Smart Home Technologies Are Changing Kitchens

Photo: Courtesy of Margo Brodowicz

Home is where the heart is and often the kitchen is the heart of the home. An estimated 60 percent of our time is in the kitchen cooking, catching up with friends and family and hanging out. Kitchens tend to be the most upgraded and functional rooms within the home, so why the industry-wide push to change?

The answer lies in the Internet of Things (IoT), which creates an unprecedented level of interconnectivity. Cutting across all levels of industry and the economy, IoT generates information through hyper-connectivity and can make decisions without human interaction.  While all of this sounds far beyond the scope of our own homes, these technologies are now incorporated throughout the household and especially in the kitchen.

What’s out there?

There are a plethora of ‘smart’ kitchen items available. How about a fork calculating how often you lift it to your mouth within a defined period, sending alerts if you are overeating or eating too quickly? Or a blender that talks to your refrigerator and your Fitbit to suggest a recipe based on available food and dietary goals? The marketplace is brimming with an array of connected devices and gadgets. Examples include refrigerators with sensors that can determine when food is about to spoil, which items are running low, and which ingredients are missing for a recipe.  The fact that a smart fridge can go online to find the best possible price and request delivery is even better.

Why fix what isn’t broken?

Our kitchens are already functional. Traditional refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers and kitchen gadgets tend to work as advertised. What IoT brings to our homes is the ability to streamline and augment our lives by automating tasks and avoiding negative outcomes such as burnt, undercooked or spoiled food. These smart devices can carry the workload of our daily lives and free up time in our personal lives. Less time spent grocery shopping means more time having fun.

We may not yet have kitchens that outshine what you’ll see in the Jetsons, but IoT is making headway in reinventing our kitchens and, in the process, our lives. IoT’s ability to streamline and automate daily tasks allows us to spend more time doing what we enjoy. It creates a symbiosis between human and machine that has never existed before.

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