Kitchen 2.0: the household appliance of the future
Manufacturers compete in inventiveness to develop household appliances and make our daily lives easier. Inspired by the high-tech world, they become intelligent, connected, greener, and feature a design that blends in perfectly with the home while forgetting their primary function. What will the household appliance of the future look like? Overview, sometimes distant. Read also how to choose your home appliances.
Over the course of prototypes of kitchens or household appliances, builders and R&D departments are designing the home of tomorrow. We have unearthed a few products and concepts that foreshadow the future of household appliances and allow us to imagine the kitchen of the future – obviously, this article is not exhaustive. Three trends are emerging, suggesting that our cuisine of the future will be more beautiful, greener, and smarter.
ELECTRONICS OF THE FUTURE
There are many builders who work on ecology. This, of course, involves less electricity consumption, but also the recycling of water or energy.
Whirlpool illustrates this trend with its Green Life kitchen (Green Kitchen), available for sale for a few days in partnership with kitchen designer Schmidt. Appliances feature Whirlpool 6th Sense technology, which makes them "smart." It has an induction oven and a connected dishwasher that communicates with the hob and the refrigerator.
This kitchen is inspired by the cycles of nature then "adapts, reduces and recycles energy," which would allow 30% energy savings: faster cooking, use of the heat released by the refrigerator compressor to heat the water in the dishwasher, reuse of water … Energies are pooled to consume less.
Whirlpool Green Life
The Ekokook concept of the Faltazi design firm, developed in 2010, also recovers water for recycling. It also gives a particular place to the treatment of waste, with places dedicated to sorting and a composter for earthworms to destroy organic waste. A little less high-tech and less flavorful too, but it's ecological.
Whirlpool constantly assigns a group of experts to develop the kitchen of the future, so the manufacturer is prolific, also offering the Fresh Connect concept. It is a refrigeration column shared between different apartments in a building. Refrigeration boxes are installed directly on the wall, allowing both to share the cold and to do without the traditional refrigerator.
Fresh Connect 2
Among the avenues studied in the use of solar energy, some ovens and barbecues already exist, but they remain bulky and restrictive. Here is a solar cooker designed by Anil Dincer and Murat Ozveri. Unlike most devices dedicated to solar cooking that use direct heat from the sun, this turns it into electricity. Even if this track is not exploited for the moment, the concept (2009) is far from being exceeded.
Equipped with a solar sensor that can produce energy in simple daylight, the device has an induction hob and a touch control panel. The energy collected makes it possible to prepare a meal for two.
Design is also evolving. Two trends predominate the saving of space with combined devices, but also the disappearance of the function of the device in favor of design. The style is very refined, sometimes playing with the light, hardly allowing one to guess the primary function of the device to integrate into all discretion.
Whirlpool, once again, offers an approach with its Fireplace concept which aims to unite. This modular "space" brings the family together around a hob positioned in the center of a work and meal plan, surmounted by a hood. The cooking space works in the light, varying the moods according to moods and dishes prepared. The design makes you forget about function.
Whirlpool Fire Place 2
The second prize in the Electrolux Design Lab 2012 industrial design competition was won by the Impress, a refrigerating wall using non-polluting gases. It allows space to be modulated by storing fresh products without having to use a refrigerator; the idea resembles the work carried out by Whirlpool with its FreshConnect concept.
Design lab impress
Each year, this competition is full of amazing concepts. In 2010, student Yuriy Dmitriev designed a doorless, gel-walled refrigerator called the Bio robot refrigerator. Resolutely futuristic, this conceptual device uses transparent biopolymer gel, which does not stain, smells nothing, and takes up little space because it does not integrate.
The gel absorbs the heat given off by food. These concepts are not exploited for the moment but could one day give birth to marketable devices, even if the Bio robot refrigerator is one of the less realistic of this article.
Bio robot refrigerator gel
Indesit is also working on kitchen concepts, mainly seeking to rationalize space. Here are some surprising examples that could one day equip our future kitchens.
Indesit Aqualift (1)
Here, Aqualift, a dishwasher directly integrated into the sink. Another vision of an everyday household appliance that those who have little space in their kitchen are often forced to leave behind.
Indesit Food Avenue1
As for the Food Avenue concept, it is a long worktop that also serves as a counter table. Its central part also incorporates an induction hob with a modular surface (over the entire length of the black line).
Finally, the Vertigo concept. It is an oven with an integrated hood and an induction hob that slides out. The dream of those with limited space.
Smart and connected
Connected to the Internet or crammed with sensors, household appliances are inspired by the high-tech sector to become intelligent. Their purpose is to make our daily life easier and free up some time. Moreover, on our return from the IFA trade fair, we delivered our findings concerning the work of manufacturers on connected household appliances.
Available in the near future, connected refrigerators will be part of the kitchen of the future. Above, that of Beko, which should have been marketed in France in 2013. That Samsung is being launched (around 3000 euros). Connected to the Internet by Wi-Fi, they offer possibilities such as inventory management, online orders, notes, calendar management, and access to various applications.
Samsung fridge connects
Samsung already markets a connected washing machine, the F457 (not in France for the moment), controllable via a smartphone as well as an oven (spring 2013) and an air conditioning system (already marketed).
For its part, LG will launch its connected refrigerator in early 2013. It incorporates Smart Manager technology, which allows, in particular, the management of food stocks, which can be consulted remotely. All the technologies that the manufacturer calls SmartThinQ will be gradually extended to all LG household appliances, allowing, in particular, connectivity with remote control via smartphone or tablet, energy savings, and the sending of fault signals to the service.
LG connected fridge
At Bosch, it is not the devices that are directly connected, but an application called MyBosch that will eventually work with all the brand's new devices. Available in spring 2013, it recognizes devices by scanning their QR code and then provides user assistance information.
It's hard to resist the urge to show Haier's interactive, connected refrigerator prototype again, which goes further. The screen disappears in favor of a transparent tactile facade on which are displayed illuminated icons and texts.
Haier interactive fridge
It should be noted that some smart appliances already exist on the market, in particular ovens and combi ovens that automatically adjust the cooking time (at Samsung, Whirlpool or Miele for example), washing machines or dishwashers which adapt the program to dirt from clothes or dishes to the hardness of the water and themselves dose the necessary amount of detergent.
Likewise, Miele already markets Miele con@ctivity compatible devices, a system through which devices communicate with each other. For example, the hood automatically adapts its suction power to the use of the hob (number of hotplates used, power, etc.).
Finally, here are some concepts that we particularly liked; they all play on the integration of high-tech functionalities into the kitchen area.
Pantone Appliances Kitchen Antonio Lanzillo Partners CubeMe1
Pantone kitchen concept produced by the Italian cabinet Antonio Lanzillo & Partners. All household appliances are equipped with touch controls and can be controlled via smartphone.
Toncelli Prisma Kitchen1
Prisma Kitchen concept by Toncelli. The worktop directly integrates a touchscreen tablet (original Samsung) while all the doors open and close automatically.
Dupont Z Island
The concept of this Z-Island kitchen dates back to 2007. Created by Dupont, this kitchen all in Corian is still futuristic today, with an all-touch island and an integrated screen docking station.
Finally, Hettich presents the concept "Cuisine Concept 2015". No more elements appear, and the design is perfect.