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Creating a smart appliance for the kitchen

We love the idea of smart cars that practically drive themselves (a software programmer’s dream). We love to add new apps to our smart phones. I, for one, would love to design software for a smart product that would become a huge fad and then a permanent personal staple. This is a major fantasy.

Maybe I can create something for my mother who loves to cook at home. The meal could prepare itself. It would be far beyond the old crockpot, the original version, that working women relied upon almost daily. Blenders, mixers, and the latest generation of best bread machines to are now electronic marvels (along with the newer crockpot model) with options that would amaze your grandmother. Nowadays, everyone wants to be a professional chef and use top-of-the-line gadgets available on the market (online or otherwise). The complexity would addle my grandma’s brain. It is not a matter of attachments—she had various beaters and multiple settings for them. There is a sophistication beyond comprehension for simple food preparation in the kitchen.

So what can I do? How can I work with digital science to make food processing a breeze? I will be giving this some serious thought. Appliances are not yet full-capacity computers, even if they do offer some pretty advanced technology. Microwaves are better than ever, toasters are a dream, and coffee makers a must. Maybe a roasting oven… Not everyone has one and you are always concerned about overcooking and dried out results. To keep the bird moist, for example, you want complete temperature control and timers that sense the degree of rawness still present. No more sticking a crude thermometer in a chicken breast or crown roast.

For now, I am making a list of the five best smart appliances to own based on research in consumer electronics. I expect that most everyone will want or have:

  • A refrigerator that tracks food inventory and expiration dates
  • An appliance like a washing machine that can be controlled from the TV or a smart phone so you don’t have to get up very often
  • An undercounter wine cooler that controls temperature, humidity, and light exposure (with a UV filter)
  • A futuristic dishwasher with built-in sensors and Internet connection to assess malfunctions
  • A hi-tech digital food scale (like the one you bought for yourself programmed to track your diet progress)

There will become a time when you won’t recognize the items in your kitchen or the items in the antique store from a few decades ago. It is all about functionality, not just new design, and time-saving benefits. Sometimes it is technology for its own sake, but who cares. Our world on the outside looks pretty much the same, but inside our doors it is a brave new world of gadgets and appliances that make life more fun and exciting. The mundane can be magic as we whip up a meal in minutes and store our leftover food in seconds.