From a refrigerator that doubles as a television to a coffee machine you can programme from your bed, here are five gadgets that will make your kitchen a savvier space
Smart kitchens to the rescue
Bakers, rejoice. There’s now a technology that not only supplies you with endless pastry-related recipes, but also gauges the accurate measuring of the ingredients that the recipe calls for. The Drop app and smart scale link to iOS devices with Bluetooth. Once you select a recipe, you can place a bowl on the scale; as you fill it with an ingredient, the app reflects the weight in real time, pings to warn you if you’re over-filling, and shifts to the next instruction once you’ve got the right amount. The app can switch out the produce you don’t have access to, and suggest simple substitutes – or readjust the rest of the quantities and instructions to do away with it completely. The auto-progress capability means you don’t get sticky fingers on your gadget. The Drop app also includes a handful of beverage and savoury meal recipes.
The latest version of the Samsung Family Hub was unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show this year. The Wi-Fi-enabled 3.0 may look much the same as its predecessor – with a tablet built into the door – but it comes with a host of upgrades. Once paired with the company’s Smart Home app, the fridge allows you to sync your family’s calendars. You can keep track of appointments and leave messages for each other on the digital notepad, even when you’re not home. Within, the gadget tracks expiry dates of stored produce and stops ice build-ups. Activating a new feature called Meal Planner enables the grocery-tracking cameras to suggest recipes based on both the food contained within, as well as previously input preferences and allergies. The four-door model also features AKG sound speakers, so you can get the perfect bass for the music or video you’re mirroring on the inbuilt screen from your television or smartphone.
Another CES specimen, the LG Top Load Washer and Dryer with SmartThinQ is basically two washing machines in one. Attached to the main compartment is a second, smaller chamber, which means you can start two cycles simultaneously, and get those delicates or baby clothes or bedsheets or sneakers cleaned alongside your main load. Of course, the machine connects to your smartphone and can be controlled remotely, and – if you have Google Assistant – via voice command. What’s really neat, though, is that the machine can be programmed to know when you’re going to exercise, and self-set to clean your gym clothes. LG’s SmartThinQ kitchen range also includes a dishwasher and refrigerator.
Smoke, carbon monoxide or just burnt toast – the Nest Protect smart smoke detector can tell you exactly what’s wrong and in which part of your house. Designed to speak in a “friendly, human-like tone”, the device uses voice alerts to apprise you of the nature of the emergency. Unlike other smoke alarms that need to be tested every month, Nest Protect is equipped with a Split-Spectrum Sensor, which enables it to check its batteries automatically on a daily basis for up to a decade. Once you’ve turned off your all cooking equipment and lights, the device emits a green glow to indicate that it has tested itself and there’s little chance of being disturbed while you sleep. If linked with the Nest Thermostat, the Protect will direct it to switch off, to stop from doing more damage in the case of a short circuit carbon monoxide leak. The gadget send alerts to your phone if you’re not home, and you can also silence the alarm from the app itself.
The matter-of-factly titled Smarter Coffee literally allows you to wake-up and smell the coffee. The Second Generation bean-to-cup model is equipped with the patented BlinkUp technology, a one-step secure set-up process. Thanks to its Android and iOS compatibility, you can set up four coffee-drinking times, say for when you wake up or as soon as you come home from work. If you’re sleeping in or running late, you can access the Smarter app remotely and change or cancel your usual order. The app allows you to adjust the strength of your brew and choose between freshly ground or filtered. It also knows when you’re running out of coffee and can be programmed to reorder it for you. The new model connects to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which means you can bypass the app and ask these to automate the process and alert you when your cuppa is ready.