The kitchen is your home’s hub – the place you prepare meals, share stories, and clean messes. However, when it’s easier to prep and clean up, you can spend more time creating valuable moments with friends and loved ones. And who wouldn’t also want to see a dip in the cost of utilities? Kitchen technology is evolving to help you work more efficiently in the kitchen, saving time and money.
Following are some kitchen technology trends.
“The trend that seems to have staying power is hands-free motion sensor technology in faucets,” according to Leah Tuttleman, a designer at Re-Bath. She says smart technology is becoming more mainstream and practical, and it appeals to those who worry about germs. “No touch technology allows you to guide your hand within three inches of a sensor to turn the water flow on and off.”
And Tuttleman says that pull down kitchen faucets with high arcs are still high in demand. “Manufacturers are introducing buzz words like SmartTouch Technology, which allows you to activate water flow pressure with a simple touch to the faucet,” she says. “Your kitchen faucet can now tell the difference between a tap to activate the water flow, and a grasp to maneuver the faucet position.”
Voice activation also is popular, and some companies, such as Delta, are introducing VoiceIQ Technology, which allows users to turn water on and off using voice commands. You can also command the faucet to dispense water in specific amounts, like a quart, or a pint.
“In addition, water conservation goes hand in hand with smart technology,” Tuttleman says. “A few faucet manufacturers now offer an automatic shut off after a few minutes of inactivity to conserve water for a helping hand.” She explains that this can cut water consumption in half and is a great feature for families with young children and anyone with mobility issues.
Another trend in faucets can also help to make clean-up easier. Delta ShieldSpray Technology has concentrated jets that can remove stubborn messes while reducing splatter. And this helps you reduce scrubbing time and soaking time.
Installing a pot filler over the stove can eliminate the hassle and safety issues of dragging a heavy pot of water from the sink. Pot fillers also are efficient. While kitchen faucets have a flow water of 1.5 gallons a minute, pot fillers are two to three times faster.
You can remove all those sticky notes from the refrigerator with a SAMSUNG Family Hub Refrigerator. It has a touchscreen on the refrigerator door that lets you remotely look inside your fridge as you’re out shopping. You can see how much milk you have left, whether that lettuce has spoiled, and more. You can also keep your shopping list on the screen. If that’s not enough, you can send notes and photos through the touchscreen, and you also can sync schedules with your family members.
In fact, the touchscreen also lets you stream your favorite songs and mirror TV and stream content. And if you’ve ever needed different temperatures for different items in your refrigerator, this fridge can help. It also has a FlexZone, in which the bottom right door becomes a refrigerator or freezer with the touch of a button, so you can customize your temperature settings.
If you have washing your own dishes, but you’re not impressed with the performance of your dishwasher, help is on the way. For example, Thermadore has a Star-Sapphire dishwasher with a 20-minute hot water cycle (which is reported to be the fastest in the industry), and StarDry with Zeolite is touted as the fastest-drying dishwasher and eliminates the need to towel dry items.
Frigidaire has an EvenDry feature that uses a fan to circulate heat and also produces much dryer dishes. Another feature is DishSense Technology, which can sense the level of cleaning that your dishes need and then automatically adjust the cycle.
Say goodbye to over- and undercooked food. Hestan Cue has created a cooktop that uses precise times and temperatures gathered from more than 700 recipes. With an induction cooktop, a connected pan, and a companion app, you’ll never wonder where you are in the cooking process.
For example, the app, which controls both the cooktop and the pan, will provide specific instructions, such as “flip your steak in 35 seconds.” The app automatically controls the temperature and time with a build-in thermocouple.
From cleaning to cooking, smart technology can make time in the kitchen faster and easier, giving your more control over your life and how you want to spend it.
Terri Williams is a freelance journalist with bylines at The Economist, USA Today, Yahoo, the Houston Chronicle, and U.S. News & World Report. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.