8 futuristic appliances that promise to revolutionize your kitchen experience.
It’s not quite Jetsons-level—but in many ways, the kitchen of the future has arrived. Appliances are increasingly smart, high-tech and future-thinking; and in 2016, thanks to lower production costs and increasing interest, the market for smart, networked devices with sleek design and flexibility will be bigger than ever.
Here, eight tech-forward appliances that promise to revolutionize your kitchen experience:
1. One of the most exciting products on the market is Samsung’s 4-Door refrigerator with 8" Wi-Fi Enabled LCD screen. This unit’s built-in color screen allows for web browsing and easy access to a multitude of apps that are ready to go with purchase, including a food manager app for refrigerator inventory that can sync with a connected device (like a Galaxy Tablet or iPad). And in case you need a little company in the kitchen, just connect your Samsung TV to the refrigerator and watch your favorite cooking show on its monitor while you cook. This unit is available online and at Best Buy.
2. We were also smitten with the dual zoned Samsung 30 cu. ft. refrigerator, which has a remarkable compartment that can be easily converted from a refrigerator to a freezer and back again, allowing you to accommodate any circumstance—from storing your produce to freezing extra batches of holiday cookies.
3. No need to phone into public radio’s Splendid Table Thanksgiving Day Turkey Confidential hotline this year. Although Jenn-Air can’t bring host Lynne Rossetto Kasper to your kitchen, its dual convection connected wall oven dials you in to its “Culinary Center” via a color LCD display panel on the oven. The panel allows users to customize each cooking cycle by answering a series of questions related to food type, doneness preference and cooking pan type. You can also create your own custom recipes that you can enter and save on the Culinary Center app, which then syncs with the oven.
4. LG brings another type of tech savvy to its Door-in-Door refrigerator by making it Smart Grid-ready. That means that if your local utility company uses Smart Grid networks, you can adjust your function settings to get the best energy rates to ostensibly lower your electricity bill. Additionally, an LG app called HomeChat allows users to interact and text with their smart LG appliances, enabling them to control and operate their LG products through text and voice messages. Going away overnight? Just text “Leaving Home” to your LG Refrigerator and it will enter Smart Power Saving mode. Text it again when you're ready to return so that it will know to change to energy modes again.
5. LG’s Smart ThinQ™ Range also has a meal-planning app, which makes meal recommendations based on a bank of recipes it can draw upon to fit your specifications. Then, depending on the recipe you choose, the range will select your appropriate cooking settings. You can also keep an eye on your oven settings and cook time remotely.
6. At this past September’s IFA show in Berlin (the European version of the Consumer Electronics Show), LG announced the launch of the new Smart ThinQ Sensor, which can be attached to many traditional (un-“smart”) home appliances to make them “smart aware.” For instance, attach the circular SmartThingQ Sensor to a refrigerator and it sends a notification to a connected smartphone when a particular food item is about to expire; it can also keep track of how many times the door is opened.
7. We love touchscreens on our appliances, and the Miele 48-inch Dual Fuel Range M Touch’s horizontal computer screen is one of our favorites. Swipe and scroll through a horizontal panel on the uppermost part of the range to access cooking options. There you’ll find its Masterchef Program, which provides you with specific step-by-step cooking instructions for whatever you are preparing. If you’re cooking a turkey or roasting a chicken, just enter the weight of the bird and the oven will automatically choose the proper cooking time and temperature, using advanced convection cooking technology to ensure perfectly moist meat and crispy skin. Have a specific time you want to serve your meal? The oven will let you choose a “ready at” time so that your meal is ready when you are.
8. Lastly, and perhaps most overtly Jetsons-esque, is Haier's recently unveiled Smart Window (i.e. see-through) Refrigerator. From far away, you see a glistening silver surface. But once you get close, the refrigerator door becomes transparent, allowing you to see its contents through the closed door. It looks great, plus it’s an energy-saver: Now you don’t have to open the door to the fridge when idly considering your late-night snack options. Haier’s new refrigerator is currently only available in China; fingers crossed that it will head to North America soon as well.