Back to the Future
In the not too distant future, your kitchen will be a super-connected, interactive space where you’ll be able to do all your household chores via an app on your smartphone or tablet. Appliances will become increasingly modular and customisable and the whole system will ultimately be self-running and self-sustainable. Or at least that's what the current prototypes suggest.
We take a look at some of the kitchen appliances and scenarios we can possibly expect down the line.
The Future Hunter Gatherer
Thanks to the Future Hunter Gatherer educational shopping game, your kids will one day be hunting, fishing and gathering ingredients for dinner – in a virtual world, that is. Winner of the 2014 Electrolux Design Lab competition, designer Pan Wan hopes that her interactive game will put a new family-focused spin on dinner hour. See what it's all about in the video below.
Electrolux Design Lab’s Feasy modular food storage unit is a wall-mounted version of a conventional fridge. The idea is that each geometric container uses a vacuum system to optimise the content’s shelf life and can be set to a specific temperature and humidity.
Food preparation will most likely get a complete overhaul too. The Mo'Sphere molecular cooking appliance, a finalist in the 2014 Electrolux Design Lab competition, allows you to experiment with and experience new flavours and sensations through various physical and chemical reactions. The idea is you'll be able to flash freeze food and easily create foams, frosts and gels like the celebrity chefs do in your home kitchen.
The Sky is the Limit Pod
It might look like something from a sci-fi movie, but if Belgian designer Xavier Bonte has his way, you’ll soon be cooking on one of these kitchen island pods. Bonte, who dubbed the unit ‘The Sky is the Limit’, believes this is the ideal solution for compact urban living. Watch what he has to say below.
The Philips Microbial Home Probe
One of the key drivers of research and innovation in the kitchen is a need to protect the environment. This odd-looking prototype views the home as a biological machine, where waste (sewage, effluent, garbage and waste water) is filtered, processed and recycled. In this integrated cyclical ecosystem, each function’s output is another’s input (for instance, food scraps are converted into an energy source) and nothing goes to waste.
The Whirlpool Kitchen
Adding a new dimension to multitasking, Whirlpool’s Interactive Kitchen of the Future 2.0 will allow you to catch up on the latest news while you prepare dinner. Touchscreen surfaces will display your favourite recipes, Twitter and Facebook updates and news pulled in from your Smartphone or tablet. You can even video chat with your friends while you cook up a storm.
The Kitchen of 2025
US appliance company GE’s future-focused kitchen of 2025 jam-packs many functions into tighter urban kitchen spaces and makes use of multi-functional appliances. One module combines an under-the-counter fridge, dishwasher, sink, cutting board, herb planter and water dispenser into a single unit. Thirsty? A sensor in the faucet will measure your body’s hydration levels with the touch of a finger. Plus, it'll detect bacteria on produce too. A fridge with ‘flex-temp’ shelving will cool food on each shelf to the right temperature and automatically place online orders for food that's running low.
The Kitchen of 2040
By the year 2040, furniture designer IKEA predicts that your kitchen will have adapted to suit your lifestyle in more ways that you could imagine. The company’s three potential future kitchen scenarios provide a bird’s-eye view of emotionally intelligent kitchens that will be your personal trainer, dietician, psychologist and lifestyle coach, back-to-nature kitchens that will encourage you to grow your own food and be self sufficient, as well smart kitchens that predict your every need.
The latter scenario, which is called the Skarp Kitchen (pictured below), features synchronised appliances that communicate through iPad-style devices, which act as the brain of the kitchen, as well as smart surfaces that clean themselves,