Kitchen computer

1969 – this bulky kitchen computer with a 2-week programming course to use it was the height of technology… none were ever sold.

Technology has changed the world around us and the lives we live, and as the rate of technological evolution seems to speed up all around us the only thing we can say for certain is that the way we live our lives will be very different indeed in 50 years time.

While we can never know what the future holds for our daily routines, there are a few trends that are emerging which can act as sign posts to the direction we travelling in. It is the kitchen that a lot of these trends are more pronounced, and when taken together they point us towards a future where everything is more sustainable, space and time efficient, connected and intelligent.

Here are a few examples of some of the kind of high tech culinary gadgets either already available or in the pipeline…

The Move Towards Increased Sustainability

As effects of human civilisation on the environment that sustains us continue to become more pronounced, technology is going to have to reflect an increasing concern with environmental sustainability.

There are a number of culinary gadgets that are paving the way in this respect. The Electrolux Evo Cleaner is a planned portable dishwasher that acts to convert the dirt and food waste into compost as it cleans.

Induction burners are already around, using magnetic power to heat up foods in half the time and with no excess fire, smoke or fumes.

Quicker and In Less Space

One of the trends that looks set to continue in the coming decades is the mass migration of the human race into cities, with 85.9% of the developed world expected to be urbanites by 2050. This means that space is likely to be at premium in the homes of the future and kitchen design will need to accommodate.

This is coupled with the increasing need for things to be done fast to fit into our busy lifestyles, to create a need for a range of gadgets that are space efficient while providing maximum speed. Check out my blog on time-saving kitchen gadgets for examples already in existence.

Another brilliant example of the kind of thing we are talking about here is the Toasted Wrap. This genius bit of engineering is essentially a roll-up that mat that is capable of toasting your bread, and so eliminates the need to find space for a clunky toaster. On the speed side, we are likely to see more things like the Smoke Gun which can give any food an authentic smoked flavour in a matter of minutes. Anyone for a smoked mojito?

Mobile and Computer Capability

We are already beginning to see an obsession developing amongst some members of our species about making everything compatible with smart phones and other portable devices.  I recently heard talk of integrating Google Maps with car windscreens although I don’t know if there are fixed plans to do this!

There are however already a glut of gadgets that exemplify this trend, such as the MilkMaid (a container that texts you when your milk is going off), mobile induction heat plates controlled by your mobile and the Qumi, which is a cooker, steamer and frying device controlled by a smartphone.

Intelligent Appliances

The thing we can say about the future of the kitchen with the most certainty is that there will be a definite shift towards ‘smart’ or ‘intelligent’ appliances and gadgets.  It is hoped that these intelligent devices will combine all of the trends listed above to make life easier for consumers while still being good for the environment.

These high tech culinary gadgets will be able to monitor the world around them, such as the electronic fork that monitors your eating habits. I predict that most designer kitchens in the coming years will have this kind of intelligence and functionality at the heart of their designs!

While trying to predict the future is obviously risky for anyone to attempt, I think that these early bits of kitchen technology that I have linked to here are exemplary illustrations of the kind of functions that consumers are going to increasingly demand. I am personally looking forward to the first time I receive a text message from my fridge telling me that I am out of Angel Delight.

Does anyone else have any other examples of high-tech culinary gadgets that point towards the future of the kitchen?

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