The first thing that comes to mind when we think of Ikea is the gross of tiny Allen wrenches we accumulated in the last decade or possibly the expletive-laden rant we went on when we couldn’t figure out how to put together a chair. It is not the kitchen of the future. But along with students from Sweden’s Lund University and Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, the furniture giant just released an entirely new way to organize the kitchen, and it doesn’t even need a fridge.
Ikea said they believe that refrigerators will eventually become obsolete because they just aren’t energy-efficient enough. People will go back to storing food the old-fashioned way—with naturally insulated products like cooling ceramic. But it’s not like the entire kitchen will be a throwback to a simpler time. They also developed a smart countertop that can detect what ingredients you put on it and rattle off recipes to use them in. One other interesting piece of technology is a water-recycling sink. The sink will divide water into black water (water that must go into the sewer to get treated) and grey water (water that you can reuse to wash dishes and water plants).
While Ikea says this kitchen is merely conceptual, they do plan to use a number of the ideas in the future. Just what we need, a smart countertop we need to put together ourselves.
Ikea will be showing off the concept for the next six months at their IkeaTemporary display in Milan.