Smart technology is a concept that, up until a few years ago, was reserved for rocket scientists and software engineers. However, this incredible idea based on the Internet of Things has now become so accessible and commonplace that we are using it in our everyday lives in ways that we never could have imagined. Residential living has certainly been impacted by advances in smart technology, and the kitchen has taken most of the limelight in boasting the best and most impressive smart gadgets available to homeowners. Here are just a few ways that kitchens have changed since the rise of smart technology.
Tech-friendly kitchen layouts
While the beauty of technology means that most gadgets are now pint-sized and portable, there is something to be said for having a place for everything (and everything in its place). For kitchens, this means a layout change that incorporates technology seamlessly and intuitively: tech-filled kitchens now often have designated docking stations for tablets and smartphones, space for storing smaller smart appliances, and room for bigger white goods such as smart fridges, cookers, and washing machines/dryers. Other small changes include smart lighting systems with central control panels, intuitive energy meters, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, which can all be controlled remotely with various apps. Because most smart gadgets and appliances require a constant power source, this has also meant that kitchen layouts now have to incorporate more outlets and charging areas in order to accommodate these new products.
Streamlined design style
As homes embrace the more futuristic elements of technology, it is only natural that design styles should change as well. Many tech-savvy homeowners are choosing to design kitchens that are ultra-modern, sleek, and pristine – a look that matches perfectly with smart gadgets and appliances. Modern kitchen design includes integrated white goods, handle-free cabinets and drawers, and even extractor fans that appear as if from nowhere with the push of a button. As smart technology develops and these kinds of smart appliances become more popular, many manufacturers are now offering a variety of finishes (such as stainless steel, brushed metal, and even bright colors) to match existing decor pieces.
The latest kitchen gadgets
Any article that talks about smart tech in the kitchen wouldn’t be complete without a list of some of the latest and greatest gadgets and appliances on the market today.
For cooking and storing food, the firm favorites of the past year or two have certainly been smart refrigerators (like the Samsung Family Hub) and cookers (like the InstantPot and WeMo equipped Crock Pots). Nothing says convenience like being able to check the contents of your fridge or start up your slow cooker while you aren’t even in the house.
Home hubs such as Amazon Echo are changing the way families communicate and function on a daily basis, and this certainly applies to the kitchen: homeowners can play music, call friends and family, and even look up recipes just by speaking Alexa’s name. Market competitors are currently working at breakneck speeds to develop similar products that match Amazon’s capabilities, but Alexa is still the most popular home hub on the block.
Finally, cleaning the kitchen has never been easier, because smart home-owners can use robotic floor cleaners, Wi-Fi enabled washing machines and dishwashers, and even robotic window cleaners to clean up while saving time and energy. We are astounded at the sheer amount of variety in these types of products and think that every homeowner needs at least one of each, immediately.
Of course, it goes without saying that technology advances at lightning speeds. As smart home gadgets become more innovative and intuitive, it’s impossible to tell how kitchens – and the rest of the home, for that matter – may change over the next few years. We can say, however, that embracing smart technology in the home now will stand you in good stead when preparing for a tech-filled future.
Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life in the UK. She enjoys writing for Modernize with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on home projects with confidence.