It’s no secret that smart tech is transforming how we live our lives and indeed function on a day-to-day basis. So, it’s probably of little surprise to you that, with the kitchen being the heart
of the house and probably the most-used space in your property, appliance brands are increasingly coming up with new and ingenious products to keep up with the demands of the modern homeowner.
“People want their appliances to be innovative and make their lives easier and more comfortable,” says Gino Grossi, brand manager at Grundig. “They also want to be able to manage these machines remotely to help save energy, time and money,” he says.
Sara Bazeley, brand manager at Indesit, agrees: “High-tech products that can simplify people’s lives, offer time-saving functions and are easy-to-use, are becoming increasingly popular with consumers.”
But how do you work out which technology to invest in? Read on to find out all about the latest innovations on the market, and which ones will save you time, money and energy.
Grundig’s dark steel dishwasher (GNF41825Z) is an ideal addition for hectic households on the go. It costs £599.99 and features the firm’s new Corner Wash System technology.
Powered by a three-arm spray and specially designed nozzle, this feature ensures every surface of your dishwasher’s contents will be thoroughly cleaned.
It also includes unique odour-removing IonFresh technology, which gets rid of bad smells without releasing any harmful gases or chemicals.
For added time efficiency, the Grundig has partnered with Amazon’s internet-connected Dash Replenishment Service. So as soon as the dishwasher starts running low on detergent and rinse aid, a new batch will be automatically ordered for you.
In the UK, we waste around 10 million tonnes of food every year, according WRAP. If you’re keen to reduce the amount you waste at home, consider investing in the Hotpoint Day-1 fridge freezer (XUL 85T2Z XOV), from around £599.
This stylish product comes with various technologies and benefits to help keep bacteria at bay and ensure food lasts for longer, which in turn minimises waste.
Clever features include an Active Fresh Filter, which absorbs the ethylene gas produced by fruit and veggies, and a SuperCool+ function. This works to cool food from 70°C to 3°C quickly with a blast of crisp air, which means you can easily pop freshly prepared dishes or leftovers straight in the fridge without having to wait hours for them to cool down.
With WiFi connectivity, you can monitor and control the Samsung Dual Flex oven (which costs from £589) anytime anywhere using the smartThings App.
You can preheat the oven on your way home or turn it off while on the go. It allows users to prepare various types of dishes simultaneously without compromising cooking performance or passing on smells and flavours between different dishes.
What’s more, the appliance comes with a HomeCare Wizard, which helps users to maintain the oven in optimal condition with alerts of potential issues, troubleshooting and accurate diagnostics monitoring and control.
|Modern labour-saving appliances and pre-prepared food mean sophisticated meals can be quickly conjured up in a relatively compact space. Plus, having the dining table positioned alongside the kitchen allows hosts to be part of the conversation when guests are over for dinner.|
This does mean that our kitchens are more on display to visitors and there’s an opportunity to make them a major design feature of the home.
Want to design the perfect kitchen? Here’s what you need to think about before you start buying cabinets, and how much you can expect to pay according to your design choices.
Read more: Guide to Kitchen Design & Costs
For optimum efficiency, the Miele DA7198W Triple cooker hood (£1,849) and DA6498W Pure cooker hood, (£1,775, shown in above image) both benefit from Con@activity 2.0 technology.
This means you can link either one up via WiFi to a compatible Miele induction hob and they will talk to each other to adjust extraction depending on what dishes you’re preparing.
You can control the cooker hood via an app on your smartphone, tablet or Amazon Alexa without even touching the appliance.
Sometimes it’s difficult to calculate how long and at what temperature to dry a load of washing. But what’s great about Whirlpool’s FCSR 12441 Supreme Care Live washing machine and matching HSCX 10441 Supreme Care Live tumble dryer, both priced at around £899, is that the two appliances communicate with each other via an app.
So once your wash cycle is finished, it will automatically synchronise with the dryer to calculate and select the correct drying setup. This is the perfect pair of appliances for busy homeowners who are keen to streamline their household chores.
Ever find yourself cooking for one person on one evening, and then a party of eight the following night? Then the Fisher & Paykel Quad Door refrigerator, is the perfect appliance for you.
Due to go on sale in the UK in 2019, it comes with a variable temperature zone compartment (located in the lower right-hand side of the appliance) that has four different settings – freezer, soft freeze, chill or fridge.
Which means, at the touch of a button, the appliance will adjust accordingly to suit both daily needs and special occasions, as well as different food types.
What’s more, given your fridge features one of the most opened doors in the house, Fisher and Paykel has launched ActiveSmart Foodcare technology that adjusts airflow to create a stable and even internal temperature – helping food stay fresher for longer.
Looking for quiet extraction for your hob? Check out Novy’s Panorama 90cm combination induction hob and downdraft extractor, which is priced from £3,899.
The noise levels when in ventilation mode range from a minimum volume of 37dB at setting 1 and a maximum continuous sound of 57dB (37dB is a similar noise level to a quiet library).
Winner of a Red Dot Award for Product Design 2018, the downdraft extractor is integrated within the hob itself, directly behind the cooking area.
When not in use, the extractor remains concealed beneath the stoves surface and, when activated, the ventilation tower elevates to reveal a central section comprised entirely of opaque glass.
This design features an intelligent auto-function which will automatically adjust to the optimal extraction level required according to the amount of smoke detected.
If you’re a keen cook often preparing various dishes at different times, but don’t have the space for two ovens, take a look at Beko’s Split & Cook model (BVM34400BC), approximately £369.99.
It cleverly allows you to cook at two different temperatures in the same oven, at the same time and, thanks to two individual fans, there will be no chance of odour crossover.
It comes with EcoSmart technology, meaning if you just need to prepare a small meal, you can choose to use only the top half of the oven, reducing the appliance’s energy consumption by 40%.
For flexibility, all of Rangemaster’s induction range cookers include a bridging zone. This is basically two large cooking zones on the left-hand side of the hob that can be used separately or combined as one large area to accommodate bigger dishes – such as fish kettles or a number of pans.
What’s more, a clever detection feature means that when the hob is on, but no pan is detected, it will automatically switch off, eliminating the ‘have I left the hob on?’ moment.
A boil dry detection feature also recognises when the temperature of a pan rises rapidly and will respond accordingly by reducing the temperature to a safe range. Prices start from £3,273 for the 110 NEXUS SE cooker.
If you want barista-quality coffee in the comfort of your own home, the Siemens iQ700 CT636LES6 Coffee Centre, £2,061, is the ideal machine for you.
It’s full of smart features that will enhance your daily caffeine hit. Different drinks require the espresso shot to be heated at a different temperature to achieve the perfect result. The machine’s Sensoflow technology takes care of this automatically for you, providing consistently delicious beverages.
What’s more, the CoffeeSensor system intelligently grinds the exact quantity of beans required depending on your chosen coffee variety, while a fully-automatic steam cleaning function takes complete care of the daily rinsing of the milk system.
Do’s and Dont’s for Smart Kitchens
To achieve a unified look, you’re likely to invest in appliances all from the same brand; however, remember to ensure the products you buy belong to the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF).
“They work with kitchen manufacturers to deliver a standard communication platform, one where all devices will be able to talk to each other,” says Grossi.
Do your research and make sure the high-tech appliance you’re investing in is suited to your needs. For example, if you want to be able to control it whenever, wherever you are, consider a model with internet connectivity.
Meanwhile, if you’re building an open-plan kitchen, you’ll want appliances that are super quiet when in use and won’t disturb your activities.
Although lots of products on the market can be controlled remotely, you should still consider wiring in your appliances. You will want your tech to continue working even if there is interference from any neighbouring wireless networks and signals.
“Ensure regulations are met for fitting an appliance correctly,” says Jennifer Taylor, head of brand at Hotpoint. Gas appliances must be installed by someone who is Gas Safe registered and check your electrician is qualified on the Competent Person Electrical register.
With a nationwide focus on finding routes to minimise food waste and energy usage in the UK (and worldwide), kitchen brands are increasingly looking at ways to create innovative technology to help transform how owners use and live in their homes.
“People are becoming more environmentally aware, so we predict the kitchen of the future will be an eco-conscious space,” says Grundig’s brand manager Gino Grossi.
“There will be a much greater demand for appliances that are designed to conserve scarce resources like water and help people to reduce food waste.”
At IFA last year, Grundig unveiled its FreshMeter product innovation, which is intended to help tackle food waste. The feature assesses the freshness of meat within a fridge by detecting the bacteria level present, and then displays the condition of the food via an LED indicator: blue (analysing), green (fresh), yellow (going off) or red (dispose).
It also unveiled its Realtime Inventory Tracking tech, which monitors each food product in the fridge to provide alerts (via an app) when items are approaching their use-by date.
This means that users can remotely check the expiry dates of their fridge contents on their smart phone or tablet while out shopping, in order to see exactly what they need to buy.
Nowadays technology is entwined in so much of our lives. So in a market saturated with clever devices, it’s hard to know where to begin when deciding what products are genuinely going to enhance your life – especially when so many of them come with a hefty price tag.
Smart technology is a wide topic and there are loads of gadgets available for your home – from robot vacuum cleaners through to cameras that allow you to talk to your pets when you’re at work.
If you’re investing in a bespoke scheme, whether you’re building from scratch or working on an existing property, an efficient result is probably pretty high on your wish list. Every house has at least a basic level of heating, lighting and security, but smart tech can give you maximum control over how the building runs.
Whirlpool envisages the future for kitchen is having products that will help you enjoy living today, releasing time to spend with friends and family.
The brand’s Interactive Kitchen of the Future concept displayed at Milan’s EuroCucina earlier this year (the biennial event dedicated to kitchen design) features an interactive splash back and cooktop that connects the consumer to their social networks, favourite websites, and recipes.
The interactive splash back features a personalised touch screen, which works to facilitate live chats for secret recipe tips and even offers wine recommendations for the selected meal, while the kitchen hob lists the dishes’ ingredients and tells you where to place each saucepan automatically.
“The concept demonstrates where technology is leading us in the near future and explores how connectivity and sensorial interaction could evolve in the kitchen and our home environment,” says Ian Moverley, Whirlpool’s brand communications director.