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Cooking Up the Connected Kitchen

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the did-you-install-aokp-on-your-can-opener? dept.

Technology 141

Esther Schindler writes "If you're looking for technology to improve kitchen connectivity and home automation, you might be surprised at how little is available today. Turns out, that's a good thing. Our industry has a long history of trying to sell a solution in search of a problem. Maybe we can get away with that occasionally, when the solution is inherently fun, or when there are enough of us geeks to buy an cool-looking automated gizmo with blinking lights where a cheaper hand-held "solution" is just as good for the masses. But when it comes to home appliances, which cost a pretty penny by anyone's measure, nobody wants to invest big bucks in a "connected" device — however cool the home automation seems — where the technology platform goes away (my washing machine is 8 years old; I sure wouldn't use a PC or phone that age) or where the benefits are murky. That is, just what is it we want the kitchen automation to do? It's one thing to say, "The fridge could order food when I run out" but none of us want to scan every potato as we unload the groceries. Yet, as I wrote in Cooking up the connected kitchen, the manufacturers are paying attention to home automation and connectivity and giving your oven an app. And some of it, as I hope the article makes clear, is really cool. 'The manufacturers want to sell us technology, and we want to buy cool capabilities that actually improve the quality of our lives. What I found surprising, in my own hands-on evaluations, is how often I had a dual-stage response: "That's the dumbest thing I ever saw. (beat) Wait, I want that!"' The manufacturers are being thoughtful about both what we'd want and what we'd buy... which is something to appreciate. So what would you want from kitchen connectivity?"

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durability (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765327)

I want it to still work in ten years.

Re:durability (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765481)

I want it to still work in ten years.

I'm sure that the Honeywell Kitchen Computer was built to your exacting specifications. On the other hand, in its case, it would satisfy it by being as cumbersome ten years later as on the day you bought it. ;-)

Re:durability (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766057)

Aside from something to look up recipes, unit conversions, etc....I can't really see the use or need for 'connected' tech in the kitchen on something that is so inherently manual..?

How are they doing to use tech to improve:

Knives

Pans

Gas Burners

Meat Grinder

Food Processor (I like to pulse by hand and stop when MY eye says it is done to my liking

Piston Sausage Stuffer

Stand Mixer

Vitamix Blender (ok, on this one I got the model with the extra programmed modes, and find I only use those to clean the thing with after using it)

Breville Ikon Juicer (how will it know what food I'm putting in next in order to adjust the speeds?)

Charcoal Grills

Offset hardwood smoker

I mean seriously, if you like to cook and have the right tools for things, it is almost pretty much manual work by definition. Will I somehow resort to the cloud when I want to cut a whole chicken quickly into 8 pieces?

And for the often mentioned refrigerator or pantry that will know when to order food or an item when it gets low...how is it going to know what I'm cooking that week that I'll need that? I mean sure there are SOME staples, but I tend to look weekly at the grocery store ads, see what's on sale (usually also meaning what's in season), and I plan my menus and cooking plans accordingly, based on those ingredients. This keeps me eating more things in season, and hence, US and more local products that are fresher, and I don't get stuck in a rut cooking the same things all the time, and saving a few bucks along the way while eating well and healthy.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE tech and gadgets, but I just can't see how it would improve the kitchen. Quality knives and cookware make the kitchen...

Re:durability (1)

blippo (158203) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766807)

Less is more...

My rather expensive oven seems to be programmed by someone that never have cooked something in his life.

This is how to start it:

- Turn the the "function knob" to the correct function.
- Press cancel to dismiss the automatic cleaning procedure (as it's more than a week since it ran the last time...)
- Turn the right knob, until "temp" is selected on the display.
- Bend down, as you can't actually see the display while standing in front of the oven.
- Press the "ok" button.
- Set the desired temperature by turning the right knob.
- Press "ok"
- Turn the right knob to "preheat" as you can't actually see the current temperature unless "preheat" is selected.
- press "ok"
- Gently turn the right knob until "yes" is displayed. Gently, or it will flip back to "no"...
- press ok.
- Turn the right knob to "start"
- press ok.

If you now realize that you would rather like to use the fan-assist mode, they you have to start over and repeat all steps.

Maybe the use-case looked solid: If the user selects the "pre heat option", the flow continues as described in "2.3.6.2 - select pre-heat function"

It's safe to say that if it was connected to the internet, it would be p0wned within seconds :-)

Re:durability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42766889)

Piston Sausage Stuffer

Isn't that a penis enlarger?

Automation (4, Insightful)

The Living Fractal (162153) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765333)

Connectivity is great but I want automation. I want to be able to wake up to a couple perfectly fried eggs and some bacon next to buttered toast. Thanks science.

Re:Automation (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765665)

Well shit, Doc Brown did that 130 years ago. How hard could it be?

Re:Automation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765729)

Given the state of food when it's "automatically" cooked, I say no thanks.

Not to mention, some of us ENJOY the act of cooking. Not too sure how well-documented this is, but there seems to be all sorts of psychological benefits to preparing food for yourself and others as well.

Convenience shouldn't be the ultimate goal when it comes to food.

Re:Automation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765881)

Given the state of food when it's "automatically" cooked, I say no thanks.

That just means we need to improve the automatic food cooking technology.

and as much as you love cooking i am sure there are some days you are too lazy and just wish you didn't have to cook.

Re:Automation (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766437)

If I'm hungry enough to need a full meal, I can be bothered to cook it. Otherwise I make do with a light snack or a sandwich.

Re:Automation (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765749)

Connectivity is great but I want automation.

That's what I thought, too. I want to have a hole in every room in which to throw my trash so that it is delivered to the basement and compacted. I want a delivery system that can bring me a 0.33l soda can whenever I press the button, and I want the same system to take the old, empty can back to the basement and store it. I can't really come up with anything other that I'd want automated. Maybe an automated lawn-mower, but those exist already.

and some bacon

I just tried bacon for the first time in my life a few weeks ago and jesus god damn christ was it horrible! Freakishly fatty and salty, no wonder people die to various kinds of heart diseases after eating that stuff o_o

Re:Automation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765823)

I want to have a hole in every room in which to throw my trash so that it is delivered to the basement...

Arlo Guthrie already did that 46 years ago.

Re:Automation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765867)

Look away from the bacon crust pizza [foodbeast.com] .

Re:Automation (4, Interesting)

Let's All Be Chinese (2654985) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765969)

In a few short years you might even get that, courtesy the Japanese getting older and their aversion to getting non-Japanese to help them out in their old age. It's why you get all those whacky robots from pet dogs to something already close to robot nurses.

Ironically they don't actually need introspective fridges with see-through display doors and built-in speakers (that are problems to clean, and might break, too) for that. If the robot is smart enough to move about on its own it's smart enough to remember what's where or even just to remember to take a quick inventory before ordering (or executing, there's an idea) the scheduled shopping.

So the robots take over our lives. Of course, this is where we mumble "yeah, skynet" and then leave things as they are. But things don't have to walk to become our networked adversaries. They don't even have to mean it. All that's needed is an over-abundance of trying to be "helpful" in just the wrong way. Incidentally that's the way we've been going down so far, with equating "user friendlyness" with "hiding the controls so you don't have to worry about it".

While I sort-of share the sentiment of wanting to not have to do the chores myself, with various defensive strategies in place they're not that much of a problem. What would be a problem is losing control, even the feeling of losing control. And you get that by having all sorts of things try to out-smart you behind your back.

You know, The Wrong Trousers style. Or maybe not even that.

Make the fscking things self-cleaning if you must, but at least give them interfaces with published, open specs that I plug into my kitchen controller that I tell what to do, that talks to me through my phone or whatever device I want to whenever I say so, and so on. I don't want vendor-supplied half-well over-eagerly done patented "easyness". I want those things to do my bidding, and for that they have to talk to me the way I want them to.

On that same note, I wouldn't want things to be too integrated--that just drives up the repair bill through sheer proprietaryness, meaning it won't happen and now half my kitchen doesn't talk to the other half any longer.

Keep it simple. Keep things independent if they don't need to interdepend. Make a speaker that sticks to the fridge with magnets, or take a few old but still functional ones and mount'em somewhere high and out of the way. Though the old trick of mounting a radio under the cabinets over the counter seems good enough still, too. Make one of those with a bluetooth interface and you're golden.

In short, all that integrating just because we can is no good for us. Even when automating.

Re:Automation (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42767983)

"All that's needed is an over-abundance of trying to be "helpful" in just the wrong way."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/With_Folded_Hands [wikipedia.org]

"Incidentally that's the way we've been going down so far, with equating "user friendlyness" with "hiding the controls so you don't have to worry about it"."

Sad but true. Brilliant insight.

"Make the fscking things self-cleaning if you must ..."

Now that I like -- a self-cleaning vegetable juice...

"but at least give them interfaces with published, open specs that I plug into my kitchen controller that I tell what to do"

Again, very insightful. We need open kitchen standards more than specific whiz-bang appliances. Although those standards might apply to any kind of factory automation or home control.

From Manuel De Landa:
http://www.t0.or.at/delanda/meshwork.htm [t0.or.at]
"Indeed, one must resist the temptation to make hierarchies into villains and meshworks into heroes, not only because, as I said, they are constantly turning into one another, but because in real life we find only mixtures and hybrids, and the properties of these cannot be established through theory alone but demand concrete experimentation. Certain standardizations, say, of electric outlet designs or of data-structures traveling through the Internet, may actually turn out to promote heterogenization at another level, in terms of the appliances that may be designed around the standard outlet, or of the services that a common data-structure may make possible."

Re:Automation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42768741)

You know, The Wrong Trousers style.

To be fair, it was Feathers McGraw that was controlling the techo-trousers when they "went wrong".

Re:Automation (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766069)

Connectivity is great but I want automation. I want to be able to wake up to a couple perfectly fried eggs and some bacon next to buttered toast. Thanks science.

You mean something like this [amazon.com] ? Now these aren't fried eggs but likely poached. I'm sure there are other machines out there that would do it or you could just set a timer on the power cord.

But as with all "automatic" devices like your morning coffee, you still have to make it the night before or in the case of capsules, press a button (make sure the capsule is filled right, make sure theirs water and a cup waiting, etc). What I really want is full automation. Pod/capsule coffee machines have just about reached that. These things save time in the morning but not really any thing else as the time is still used setting it up the night before.

Re:Automation (4, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766279)

Imagine connecting with your oven from your smartphone to adjust the roast's cooking time. When dinner is ready to serve, the oven can notify the chef via text message or push notification, not to mention nag your family on their mobile devices to call them to dinner.

My oven just beeps when it needs to notify me that it finished pre-heating. And it just beeps when it finishes baking something and turns itself off. It also has a convenient oven light that I can manually turn on and off, that acts as an in-context reminder that I may still have something in the oven even thought the oven turned itself off.

In this day of information overload, there is no need to clutter up my cell phone with one more type of notification/reminder, nor is there a need to make the oven configuration UI panel more complex than it needs to be. The same goes for my house guests/family. I don't need to clutter up their sms/inbox either. I don't live in a five story mansion. I can usually hear the beep just fine. And if I want to eat with my family, I can just tell them, or yell at them, assuming they even want to eat with me. Worst case scenario, if my family and my house get large enough, I'll get an intercom for the rooms I can't easily reach. Furthermore, I wouldn't want them to be accidentally notified of the oven finishing, when they're away from the house on some other business. Nor would I want my family to be notified when the oven is finished, but the dinner is not fully prepared yet. There is actually time between the time that an oven finishes and that the table is set up with all that's needed.

With notifications, the only type that I may want, may be from my washer/dryer, but that's only because they're a bit out of the way, and I can't easily hear their buzzer when they finish (nor do I walk in front of those appliances unless I'm using them, so sometimes I need to be reminded I have something in them). But even there, I'd try to minimize the number of notifications/reminders as much as possible. For instance, it would be nice if it didn't sent me a notification to me if I picked up my clothes quickly enough, and it would be nice if it was smart enough not to notify me during some hours where I already left for work, or during the hours when I'm usually sleeping.

Home chefs can access the Dacor Discovery IQ Cooking Application and Guide, suggests Dacor, while simultaneously downloading other popular applications through the Google Play Store, researching new recipes, or viewing cooking video demonstrations wirelessly through a home Wi-Fi network.

Honestly, I already have a tablet for that. And there are already plenty of apps that duplicate the functionality of their application, and that probably already do a very good job of it. What are they doing wasting their resources on this?

Having a tablet built-in into the oven would make things really counter-productive for me. It's easy for me to replace my tablet, but it would be difficult to replace/upgrade my oven built-in tablet. Furthermore, just like a car manufacturer, I'd never trust an oven manufacturer to keep its paws off the builtin internet-connected tablet of its own manufactured device (nor would I trust that manufacturer to sell me that built-in tablet, nor any of its builtin services at a reasonable price either).

And, of course, should the wall oven encounter a problem or require maintenance, IQ will notify the owner with an error message and send an automated report to Dacor for troubleshooting.

What? Why would I even expect my wall oven to have a problem!?!

If my oven really has a physical problem, I may call a repairman to come in person, but I want to be there when he comes to my place. Please do not automatically assume that what benefits a company will automatically benefit the consumer. This feature for me would just be an anti-feature.

Furthermore, I'm not the most security-conscious person in the world, but in this case, I'm not sure the benefit of having such a remote control oven would justify the added risk of it getting taken over by a remote hacker someplace, or have it taken over by governmental authorities that want to do some surveillance on my household (however small those risks may be in real life).

Re:Automation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42766421)

Connectivity is great but I want automation. I want to be able to wake up to a couple perfectly fried eggs and some bacon next to buttered toast. Thanks science.

I would think it'd be engineering.

Re:Automation (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766531)

No, you need a W.I.F.E.

Time for that old joke:

Q: Why do women get married in white?

A: ALL domestic appliances are delivered in white...

P.S. you forgot the coffee and orange juice.

P.P.S. Before the "wimin" get up in arms, we've been happily married 20 years now, and every Sunday I bring my lovely wife a bouquet of fresh roses with her breakfast.

Almost nothing... (1)

Sqweegee (968985) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765377)

Almost any kitchen-centric automation is more of a pain to implement or maintain for home users than it would be worth.

Really the only thing useful would be a device to keep the recipe I googled close at hand... oh look a tablet!

Re:Almost nothing... (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765465)

The one thing I can think of that would be useful is a shopping list- scan a bar code when you use up an item, have it synch to the cloud, and be able to see the list on your phone when you shop. Or a reverse shopping list- a list of items you have. I'm always wondering if I already have spice/seasoning X when I'm at the store.

But other than that I don't really see much I want automated. I don't want automatic purchasing, I don't use enough food being single. Maybe preheat the over for me as I drive home? But chances are I don't want to cook as soon as I walk in the door anyway. What else is there?

Re:Almost nothing... (2)

mcmonkey (96054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765669)

The one thing I can think of that would be useful is a shopping list- scan a bar code when you use up an item, have it synch to the cloud, and be able to see the list on your phone when you shop.

You haven't thought that idea through. Or read TFS. Yes, it would useful when generating a shopping list. But no, it's not very useful when you have to scan every item as you unpack your purchases.

As is it, you can very easily do this now, with current technology. There are USB bar code scanners. There is software for inventories. In fact, I'm guessing you (and most of the /. audience) have all the hardware and software for this application now--on your smart phone. There are many bar code readers that use a cell phone camera as a scanner.

So why don't you do this? Why don't you scan the bar code of every item in your kitchen to create an inventory. And scan every item as you use it. (For most items, you'd want to trigger the item to appear on your shopping list before you run out.) And scan every item as you unpack after shopping?

There's no (technological) reason you couldn't do this today. You don't because it's a huge pain in the butt.

Re:Almost nothing... (1)

milkmage (795746) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766247)

"You don't because it's a huge pain in the butt." ..and carrots don't have barcodes.

Re:Almost nothing... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766533)

You don't print your own?

(Barcodes I mean, not carrots)

Re:Almost nothing... (1)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about a year and a half ago | (#42767987)

" Why don't you scan the bar code of every item in your kitchen"

That's probably where the "checkout of the future" comes in. I've seen a demo of it somewhere, bar codes are supposed to go the way of the dodo, eventually RFID tags are supposed to take over for them. You simply fill up your cart, walk through an arch with a high speed RFID scanner in it and either hand over your money or your RFID credit/debit card is automatically scanned. If that comes to pass the "fridge of the future" would then have an RFID scanner in it, and when it noticed a code that was usually in your fridge was no longer there, it would notify you. While some of the features sound interesting, personally I don't intend to EVER hook up an important household appliance to a global network. I don't care how secure they say it is it WILL have flaws. I don't need some virus playing with my houses heat settings or playing porno/Viagra advertisements on my TV. In any case these "improvements" should be physically isolated from the base functions of the appliance, and if they aren't purchasers should at least be able to hardware disable them (by simply not plugging them in to the network or physically cutting the wi-fi)

Re:Almost nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765717)

The one thing I can think of that would be useful is a shopping list- scan a bar code when you use up an item, have it synch to the cloud, and be able to see the list on your phone when you shop.

Or, an enterprising grocery store could deliver items you need for restocking when you submit your shopping list to them (FreshDirect, in NYC and some other areas, actually has a pretty solid service), or they could do a "you submit it, we have it boxed and ready for you to go when you stop to pick it up" model, too. I don't have a lot of love for wandering the aisles looking for the stuff I need; I agree that "automatic" is probably not ideal, especially for singles, but an automatically-assembled list of "what's been used up this week" with a confirmation step allowing you to edit, add and remove restock items would be pretty nice.

Combine this with gps awareness and siri-or-similar service, and you have an assistant to remind you, "Bob, I notice you're near the grocery store. You used up the last of your milk this morning, maybe you want to buy some more for your coffee in the morning?"

And yes, being able to check "what's in the pantry" would be awesome. A problem I run into occasionally, so I end up with like 3 unopened jars of cumin because I can never remember if I have cumin on hand, so I buy one "just in case."

Otherwise - diagnostics and temperature controls; recipe tracking and sharing (easily done on a tablet or laptop now, anyway); that's about all I can think of that'd make my life better.

Re:Almost nothing... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766779)

A problem I run into occasionally, so I end up with like 3 unopened jars of cumin because I can never remember if I have cumin on hand, so I buy one "just in case."

The girl at the spice stall thought I was mad or about to faint or something because I was staring into the distance with a sort of glazed look when she came to serve me. In fact I'd forgot my list & was just visualising what I'd used up that week; if I thought about it I could remember what I'd cooked, and thence what I'd emptied.

And I'm a scatterbrain. If I have a notion of what I've got in stock, anybody can.

Re:Almost nothing... (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766097)

The one thing I can think of that would be useful is a shopping list- scan a bar code when you use up an item, have it synch to the cloud, and be able to see the list on your phone when you shop. Or a reverse shopping list- a list of items you have. I'm always wondering if I already have spice/seasoning X when I'm at the store.

But other than that I don't really see much I want automated. I don't want automatic purchasing, I don't use enough food being single. Maybe preheat the over for me as I drive home? But chances are I don't want to cook as soon as I walk in the door anyway. What else is there?

There are numerous apps out there that do this. A popular one we use is GroceryIQ. It's on both our phones and syncs great so I always know what to get. There are likely other apps that have inventories as well.

Re:Almost nothing... (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766111)

scan a bar code when you use up an item

Scanning is a pain in the ass.

when you use up an item, have it synch to the cloud, and be able to see the list on your phone when you shop.

This is an awesome idea. I can't count the number of times I get back from the store only to discover that I have a quarter cup of milk left in the jug.

Too bad nobody invents anything anymore. We'll never be able to have a fridge that can tell whats in it without someone having to scan bar codes all the time.

Re:Almost nothing... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42767795)

"Almost any kitchen-centric automation is more of a pain to implement or maintain for home users than it would be worth."

I agree!

One thing I don't want is an app that lets Bob turn his oven on from the convenience of his office chair 10 miles away. Who will pay for all the fires?

Sure, you can say "the automation will shut it off when it's done". Yeah, right. As Heinlein wrote, more or less: "You can't make something foolproof because fools are so ingenious."

I sure wouldn't use a PC or phone that age (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765381)

If what you want is to check your email, browse the web a bit, or make a call then PCs and phones of that age are just fine. And are very greatly preferred over having no PC and/or no phone.

Having a non-connected stove/over and a non-connected fridge is much better than eating your food cold before it rots.

And, as you can attest, having an eight year old washer is much better than dragging your laundry to the riverbank and beating it on rocks.

New is not always improved; old is usually better than nothing.

Nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765391)

Just fsck off, marketing drones.

Simplicity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765395)

I'd like the refrigerator to send me a notification when it's not maintaining a cold enough temperature.

I'd like to be able to start a preheat cycle on the oven remotely. I'd like remote notifications (smartphone?) when the oven timer is about to go off (T-5minutes?). It might be nice to enter a more complicated cooking program via a smarter interface, but I'm not sure if I want that on the oven, or on a remote control device.

I'd like remote notifications when the dishwasher, washer and dryer cycles complete.

Beyond that, no. I'll use a tablet if I want to look up recipes, or how to get out grass stains.

Re:Simplicity (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765915)

I'd like the refrigerator to send me a notification when it's not maintaining a cold enough temperature.

A fridge failure is, at most, a once a decade event. Updating the fridge notification settings with your new/next device address and protocol is far too much a PITA.

I'd like remote notifications (smartphone?) when the oven timer is about to go off (T-5minutes?).

"Hey, I'll be done in 5 minutes", vs the already included dumb ding "Hey, I'm done"
I'll go with the mostly foolproof dumb ding.

I'd like remote notifications when the dishwasher, washer and dryer cycles complete.

I know when the machines will be done. About 45-60 minutes from start, depending on which one. Adding complexity to refine that to the actual minute is simply adding marketing BS.

Re:Simplicity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42766725)

"Hey, I'll be done in 5 minutes", vs the already included dumb ding "Hey, I'm done" I'll go with the mostly foolproof dumb ding.

I don't know how an advanced ding would be any less foolproof or require much of any more intelligence, especially if just in the oven itself. I've had ovens 10+ years ago that gave a short ding a minute before the timer was up and then a longer ding when the timer was done. It was convenient for when doing three or four things at the same time, to make sure you have a break to check the oven and see if the food is done.

Re:Simplicity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42766837)

The advantage of a remote notification is that I can be in the back yard or the garage or otherwise out of earshot, and still not burn the chicken.

Re:Simplicity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42767287)

I want the remote notifications in addition to the "dumb dings" that are already there.

As for the washer/dryer/dishwasher, mine take varying lengths of time, depending on what options are selected for the cycle.

The benefit of technology is to make things easier on the end user. I think these features might do that; accordingly, I might select devices that meet these criteria next time I'm shopping for them. If you do not want these features, then continue to select devices that do not offer them.
 
 

Side note: for the fridge, a blinking red light inside that says that the thing has been running for hours on end and still isn't cold enough would be helpful, and I'd expect that as a first step. Too many friends haven't realized it was time to defrost and lost a bunch of perishables and didn't catch on for a few months ("wow, the milk just doesn't seem to last more than a few days before it turns sour..."). Some sort of notification would be helpful because of the infrequency of the events.

Feedback. (3, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765399)

I want feedback.

I want to be able to stick a thermometer in my food, whether in the oven, microwave or on the hob and have the thing use feedback to follow a temperature vs. time profile.

Why waste $5k on immersion heaters and vacuum packers for sous vide setups when a simple thermometer input and a few lines of code could achieve the same thing on a conventional kitchen oven?

Re:Feedback. (2)

Eil (82413) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765705)

Why waste $5k on immersion heaters and vacuum packers for sous vide setups when a simple thermometer input and a few lines of code could achieve the same thing on a conventional kitchen oven?

Because you will never get the kind of temperature stability required by sous vide in a conventional oven, no matter how automated it is. The good news is: With a little skill you can _make_ your own sous vide setup fairly cheaply. There are examples all over the web.

But yes, I do agree your general sentiment.

Re:Feedback. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765809)

An electric deep fryer, a PID controller, a probe thermometer, and a solid state relay... about $75, with a little webstore savvy.

(The electric deep fryer, because it should have a touch less thermal mass than say a crockery cooker, so it should react faster/be able to maintain target temperature better.)

Re:Feedback. (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765903)

I can do all that. But I have a wife that doesn't appreciate a wiring loom in the kitchen. It should be in the control panel of the oven with a standard two pin temperature probe socket on the control panel.

Re:Feedback. (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765927)

And is designed to heat a liquid to 300F.

Re:Feedback. (0)

vyrtguya (2830805) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766653)

http://www.cloud65.com/ [cloud65.com] as Nicholas said I am surprised that a student able to get paid $5705 in four weeks on the computer. have you read this page

What I want .. (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765417)

..as I wrote..

Freedom from slashvertisments.

Re:What I want .. (4, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765565)

"Freedom from slashvertisments."

Once a month, I spend an entire evening tabbing back to /. so I can meta-moderate the Firehose. I am amazed at how many advertisements show up...MOST of them are advertisements. The inundation never stops.

So, if you dislike the advertisements, hop over to the submissions page and start killing some adverts. I've gotten to the point that I ask myself "Is this person trying to sell something?"--if the answer is even a vague yes, they get voted down without further thought. I don't care what the product is...

This particular ad is not only selling a book, but the entire book is trying to sell you shit you don't need in your kitchen. Not only that, the author has used many marketing tricks such as combining statements like "That's Stupid" and "I want one!".

Marketing 101. Get it off /. by meta-moderating. Only YOU can do this...

Re:What I want .. (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765865)

And why do you assume that I don't do any meta moderation myself?

Remote thermo microwave oven (3, Interesting)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765427)

There are good remote thermometers. Combine one with a microwave oven so that it scans your food, and dials back the power if hot spots occur, and stops cooking when a predetermined temperature reached.

Plus, a pot stirring robot. Just put a spoon in the robot's hand, grab the arm and show it how to stir the pot. Then tell it to repeat the action. Bonus points if the spoon has a thermometer in it to alert you to your pudding boiling.

Re:Remote thermo microwave oven (3, Interesting)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765475)

Used magnetic stirrers in labs all the time. I don't know why they aren't standard on every stove.

Re:Remote thermo microwave oven (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765593)

My halogen cooktop might not have any ferrous metal in the "burner" area. You might be able to put a powerful magnet/motor device far enough under it so that it doesn't get too hot.

Most of my pots are magnetic, though.

Re:Remote thermo microwave oven (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765537)

I have one. It's basically a bedroom issue vibrator with silicone plastic legs attached. It rotates around the pot stirring it. Great when you want to boil cream for an hour.
http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=354782&catid=184266&aid=338666&aparam=goobase_filler [drugstore.com]

Re:Remote thermo microwave oven (1)

Bigby (659157) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765795)

You just used bedroom, vibrator, silicone, legs, pot, and cream in the same line. I think it's safe to assume I shouldn't click on the link at work.

Re:Remote thermo microwave oven (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765923)

The link is ok. But I appreciate that you appreciate that I put a little effort into choosing my words.

Re:Remote thermo microwave oven (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42766493)

They do have those self stirring pots Pots that are shaped in a way that makes it stir itself.

Re:Remote thermo microwave oven (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#42767985)

There are good remote thermometers. Combine one with a microwave oven so that it scans your food, and dials back the power if hot spots occur, and stops cooking when a predetermined temperature reached.

That's about as useless an idea as I've ever heard. Dialing back power just extends cooking time, it doesn't cool the hot spot or prevent one from occurring. Nor does external temperature bear any noteable relationship to internal temperature.

You don't actually cook do you?

Seems like a good idea (1)

tedgyz (515156) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765457)

I just bought a new refrigerator. I had the option of getting the model with the touchscreen interface above the icemaker. However, the equivalent model without the touchscreen was on sale for $700 less. For that money, I can buy a couple Kindle Fire's with money to spare. I just can't justify the added cost, along with the contradictory long-life appliance, short life tech device.

Smart Fridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765471)

I want a fridge to notice my mom hasn't opened it in 3 days. If she's not on vacation and the indoor drone finds her vital signs are not responsive
then the fridge should summon dexter, roomba and big dog to put her in the fridge until the coroner arrives. It what she would have wanted...

This is a robotics problem (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765505)

nothing is going to put the food in the oven for you

That's the problem.

It's quite solveable. There are many automated industrial food processing facilities. In Japan, there's a whole range of vending machines which automatically make pizzas, french fries, etc.

A refrigerator/microwave combination, where items go in standard trays and a suitable mechanism conveys trays into the microwave and out, wouldn't be that hard. Parents could phone in dinner for their kids.

Re:This is a robotics problem (1)

Bigby (659157) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765625)

I don't know where the summary was trying to go. They want automation, but was ignorant of how much automation you could have.

If your refrigerator can order food, why can't it pack itself? Why can't the delivery people unpack it? Why can't you be sitting on the couch and yell:

You: "House! Make me some boneless wings"
House: "Hi Hal, how many boneless wings?"
You: "I don't know...20"
House: "Do you want them tossed in a buffalo sauce as usual?"
You: "Damn right!"
House: "Ok...it'll be ready in 15 minutes. It'll cost you 1200 calories and $4.50".

Come on. All this technology exists. It is just a matter of cost. But once it catches on, the volume will drive the cost down and it will be the next "smartphone".

Re:This is a robotics problem (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765961)

I want a pick'n'place pantry. I just dump products through a chute, it scans the barcode and stores it somewhere. I can scroll through my pantry on my tablet and select something and it pops out on the counter.

Simplicity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765507)

I want my grandmother to be able to visit and use my appliance without "technical support". I want to be able to show my 7 year old how to use it (consistent with safety and supervision of course).

Qeo is the solution.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765531)

Qeo is a framework which exactly intends to bridge all kind of connected home ecosystems.
Check it out at http://www.i-speak-qeo.com/

Technicolor already has signed contracts with many big industry players so looks very promising.

When did I last buy X? (1)

davids-world.com (551216) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765583)

Actually, having remote access to an inventory is a killer application. Of course, we don't want to scan every item added or used up. The implementation is the problem. RFID might be a solution, though it isn't cost-effective at this time, and more importantly, RFID tags won't be attached to single eggs or pieces of broccoli in my fridge. A simple webcam in the fridge might go along way (the devil is in the details - light - positioning?), but it wouldn't capture the pantry or the spice rack... "When did I last buy X?" might be a pretty good proxy for all of this, without all the kitchen technology.

Re:When did I last buy X? (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765707)

Of course, you could always just keep a pad of paper and a pen attached to your fridge door, and occasionally take the resulting list of needed items to the supermarket with you. No rare earth elements, no lithium batteries and chargers, no USB cables, no authentication schemes, no Rumanian teenagers hacking into your system, no WiFi set up, no cell phone apps, no web configuration tools, etc. Just pen and paper. Fast. Cheap. Easily available. High availability. Leverages synergies. You know, practical.

I want reminders so I don't overcook stuff. (1)

Pezbian (1641885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765599)

Nothing ruins a movie night faster than overcooked or burnt food. Give me a way to have a reminder to check the pizza I'm baking pop up on my TV screen, laptop, phone, etc, for example. I can't hear the timer alarm from my home theater, let alone while I've got a movie playing at normal volume.

I don't have time to run an app on my phone and set a timer and name the timer when I've already set the machine that's doing the work.

Hell, give me an oven that will shut off and automatically start cycling in cool air from the room when the timer expires so my guests aren't stuck waiting for the food to cool to non-lethal temperatures.

Zigbee is pretty well established for this kind of stuff. The chips are cheap now. An extra $10 added to a $1000 range is kid stuff.

Re:I want reminders so I don't overcook stuff. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765719)

Most oven timers I've seen have an option to turn off the oven. I guess that's not the same as cycling in room temperature air, though.

Re:I want reminders so I don't overcook stuff. (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765999)

Nothing ruins a movie night faster than overcooked or burnt food. Give me a way to have a reminder to check the pizza I'm baking pop up on my TV screen, laptop, phone, etc, for example. I can't hear the timer alarm from my home theater, let alone while I've got a movie playing at normal volume.

Dollar store. $2, 60 minute kitchen timer. Rotate to 18 minutes. Set it next to your theater chair. Done.

Constant Tap Temperature (1)

manixrock (1529037) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765629)

Not just in the kitchen, but especially in the bath. Is it so hard to make a "smart" tap where the termperature goes smoothly from "cold" to "hot", instead of constantly adjusting it manually because it goes "freezing freezing freezing freezing ok boilinglava boilinglava boilinglava" and the "ok" position shifts every couple of seconds. We have thermometers, why hasn't someone automated this yet?

Showing the actual temperature would also be a plus.

Re:Constant Tap Temperature (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765791)

Actually, this already exists.
http://www.amazon.com/KOHLER-K-527-1CP-Digital-Interface-Polished/dp/B005ECLU2Q

Im sure there are more examples but thats the first i found in a 5 second google search.

Re:Constant Tap Temperature (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765889)

If you search online for Thermostatic Valves, there's lots of them out there. The least expensive one I've found for showers is made by Hudson Reed. For sinks, the inexpensive ones I've found are from faucetso.com Expect that the faster acting a reliable thermostatic valve is, the more expensive it will be.

Great for Grandma (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765637)

anecdote: i saw a father/son duo at a scrap metal yard, and they were unloading an old stove. we started talking so here's the story..... Grandma was leaving the oven/stove on. the situation was deemed too dangerous by her relatives. initially, the plan was to leave her without the appliance, until the grandson gave them the idea of connectivity. now they can control Grandma's stove with a smartphone. Profit! (but pricey)

Wireless RF transmitting thermometer (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765655)

A little lozenge shaped device with a washable surface, a high temp capable battery, and an 800 degree silicone o-ring seal that I can put in with what I'm cooking, and it will broadcast the temperature of its surroundings. -also a flat one for a grill or an oven rack -also a receiver that converts the transmission to a big display and to Bluetooth or NMEA 0183 or wifi or something Teaching heating or cooling devices to respond to the temperature of the food will be much easier once there's wireless thermometers and a standardized communication method for them. (OK, 37 proprietary communication methods for several years until whichever one the EU mandates becomes the de-facto standard)

Not the hyped stuff, the basics (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765657)

I don't want a refrigerator that orders food when I'm running low. The definitions of how low is too low and what food I want to order are just too fuzzy and variable.

But, I'd want the refrigerator to be able to tell me what the temperature in the compartments is, whether the door's open or closed, that sort of thing. And maybe send an alert to my phone or via e-mail or to a system tray app if the door stays open too long (somebody forgot to close it right) or the temperature goes above what I've set it for and stays there (something's wrong and the food's thawing). And of course the basic warning app that alerts me if it isn't getting reports from the refrigerator (as in a power outage) and I need to see whether it's just the network out or something more major I have to do something about. Ditto for the oven: fancy automatic cooking is a big no, but being able to see what burners/ovens are on/off, what the oven temperature is, how long it's been on, and control those things remotely, that might be nice. Or the dishwasher: when was it started, has it finished running, is it's door closed.

Of course the big problem is security. I may want to see and control my appliances, but I don't want anybody outside the household (and maybe not even everybody inside the household) doing the same. To me this stuff falls into the SCADA category, things that while they may be networked they should not be on a public network. Wireless for instance would be right out. And wouldn't be needed anyway. Appliances need wiring right from the start, for power and gas and water. So include Ethernet wiring with the runs and bring it all to a central switch where it can be connected to the home network. If I were doing it I'd actually place it on a third network interface in the router, one dedicated only to home automation that could be accessed by the other local networks but was blocked from the WAN interface.

I suspect I should worry that my standard requirement for a router is 4 network interfaces.

A network connected oven with a camera inside. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42765659)

The basic idea being that if I'm cooking something I can use my smartphone or tablet to log into the oven and see a live image of the food inside the oven without the need to walk over to the oven and peer inside.

murky they are (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765675)

or where the benefits are murky

Ah, yes. The benefits, elusive (and illusive) though they may be. "Controlling" your fridge or your thermostat from far away via your cellphone. Useful? Hardly at all. Cool and shiny? Sure, that's why people buy them. You need almost none of this. You don't even need a "food processor," unless you have to prepare food for more than 4 or 5 people. A set of decent knives and cutting boards will do just fine.

Just be realistic and recognize that if you buy kitchen gizmos it is because you are a gadget freak, not because they serve any compelling useful purpose. They are, by and large, paraphernalia, not tools.

"my washing machine is 8 years old" (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765683)

Don't worry. The new ones will be made out of cardboard and 100% "recycleable" so you will be able to get an new one every two years while remaining smugly green. Of course, you'll have to get a new one every two years as that's as long as they'll last, but the new ones will be better anyway. They'll have rounder corners. And they'll be even greener.

Not much more than I already have (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765685)

This probably has something to do with enjoying cooking, so for me there's very little incentive to automate more than we already do. I mean, we have gadgets to:
- chop just about anything quickly
- slice just about anything quickly
- peel vegetables
- open cans really easily
- time absolutely everything
- clean the dishes afterwords
- turn the oven on while you're not even in the house so that the casserole will be finished just as you're getting home

What's left that isn't better handled by people?

Re:Not much more than I already have (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42766353)

keep food cold until required then cook it so that it will be ready at a specified time.

Security (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765687)

If we go by how network security in various appliances has been applied this far a connected kitchen will be a time-bomb in the making. What if e.g. someone can turn your oven on at max while you're not at home? Or turn off your fridge, melting all your groceries there? Turn on the faucet and just let the water roll? Alas, if the recent history is any indication these things will have either no security or minimal security with hard-coded access tokens and unupgradeable firmware.

Re:Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42766449)

Exactly. What I might like is sensors and reporting. Send me a text when the oven hits 350 degrees. That's fine, but I don't want any ability to turn on/off the oven remotely.

Maybe a camera so I can see what's inside the fridge on my cell phone to decide if I need to buy milk or not. Again, I don't want to be able to adjust the temperature remotely.

In other words, just give me access to information, but don't give me or anyone else the ability to "do" any damage.

Hit the nail on the head (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765849)

Yes, it would be awesome of have a fridge that can keep track of all the food in it, but the problem is that we all don't just buy food with barcodes on it. So sure, add a camera to the fridge to it sees the potatoes you add to it, but then you still have to run your food going in and out past a camera for it to recognize what you are taking in and out of it. So put 20 cameras in the thing, but I can easily see situations where the camera is not going to see all things at all times. Also how to track content in jars and containers. What if you have a jar of mayo that was used to store some home-made pickles?

The reality is that total automation in the kitchen may be a problem set that is just too difficult to invent. Nobody wants to program a fridge. Nobody wants to have to scan every item, weight it, etc just to have a quick snack. And of course lets not forget that food is not only stored in the fridge, you want every cupboard equipped with this technology, whether it stores food or not? I don't want my kitchen to cost $100k just for the simplicity of food arriving at my door step when I run out.

While I think there are lots of areas where home automation can be improved dramatically, I just got the Nest thermostat and absolutely love I can change the temperature when I am in my rec-room in the basement without having to go upstairs, there are many fantasies that just will never be solved due to the incredibly large amount of complexity involved to engineer a solution that we consider incredibly mundane, like knowing when to buy a new jar of mayonnaise.

Some things just don't have a solution to them.

Kitchen?Who needs kitchens these days?CloudCooking (1)

D4C5CE (578304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765945)

is the order of the day. Food has to be ordered online. Kitchenware is not at home anymore, but in an Italian, Chinese or other canteen kitchen cloud," the Estate Agent says: http://www.heise.de/ct/schlagseite/2010/11/gross.jpg [heise.de]

Just... (1)

Nexzus (673421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765975)

...an NTP client on every appliance with a clock display. I'm OCD about my clocks being in sync. (but hate setting them)

I want waht marketing doesn't (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42765981)

Appliances with an actual published API usable from within my LAN only would be good. I absolutely positively do not want appliances using 'the cloud'. I do not want recipes from their proprietary server, I do not want to order food from their approved vendor, I do not want to log in to their oh so special server on the web. Ideally, it should be upgradable. I will NOT be in the market for new appliances 5 years later.

However, if that stuff is going to come with a 100% markup over the non-automated stuff, no sale.

How about a nice tablet? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766083)

I'd like a nice tablet for recipes, browsing, etc. Maybe a little easel so I can refer to it while I cook.

And oh yeah, it should be dishwasher safe.

I'll take reliability over bells and whistles (1)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766301)

So, the manufacturers are listening to what we want, eh? Meanwhile my one-year-old Chinese-made refrigerator (is there any other kind?) already has a problem with the defroster -- a simple, well-known process that has been around for at least 50 years. My previous refrigerator managed to last for 17 years without a major problem. I don't want a lot of bells and whistles, I just want simple appliances which will work for more than a couple of years.

Follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42766447)

This is about the money. The margins on a fridge or other appliance are thin. They have done all they can to make them cheap as possible, outsourced manufacturing, materials, and automation.
If your fridge texts you that the water filter must be replaced, and you replace it, that is almost pure profit. Plus, they did not have to advertise or get you into a store. Free money! Three new water filters is more profit for GE than a brand new fridge.
More of the appliances you buy will have disposable consumable parts. Also heading off consumer issues and getting routine maintenance done will be huge for the manufacturer.
They also want to collect usage and energy data. Don't know what they will use it for, but more data is better, right?

Nope, Oh hell No! (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766461)

Simple answer: No. I have loved to cook since the time I was single digits old. I went to 3 years of Culinary school, but found out that I hated cooking at home after working with food all day. So I left culinary school for greener pastures and went to a tech job. At the same time, I'm back to enjoying cooking at home.

While technology can be great, at the same time.. not for food. There are so many variables to look at when cooking. How much butter I use in a saute will change on so many factors only the eyes and nose can catch differences. We are not talking a little either.

Kind of interesting, but I just shared this story with a guy I work with. Making Chicken with Marsala wine and artichokes. The amount of wine is always the same, chicken stock is the same amount, artichokes is roughly the same amount, but butter can go from 2-4Tbsp from one preparation to the next. If the umidity is low, the chicken is moist, the flower was dry, or air temperature was different, all of those things play a factor. Hell, the cooking time differs on items over the course of a day when the weather changes as does how high my flame is on the burner.

I'm not saying you could not build technology that could determine all of that and make adjustments. But why would I want to spend all that money and not do something I take great pride and pleasure in?

On the list of dumb (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766491)

The oven that I can control from across the world -- the worst idea ever. Can I also have a way to control my fire extinguisher from across the world? Or to change the amount of time it takes for chicken to cook if I get stuck in traffic mid-way through the cooking?

I'd love cabinets that wash the dishes, but I don't want to put dirty dishes into my clean cabinets.

I actually would like a knife that teaches me advanced knifing skills. But a book can do that much more easily.

I really have zero interest in adding anything to my kitchen outside of things that cook, clean, or prep.

Ingredients and recipe management. (1)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766539)

I'm not so much for the automation when it comes to the cooking part, that I like. The issue I have is pretty straightforward. My wife and I both like to cook, however since we have small children dinner tends to be a bit haphazard because of school/dance/etc.

Since I buy a majority of my food at a grocery store and since I already use one of discount cards... they're tracking all my purchases anyway... why not also send me an email in a format that I can parse as well?

Once I've got a database of the food I've got in my house it's not a hard problem to ask the question, "With these ingredients what different recipes can I make for this week?" Throw in some preferences for things like pizza, spegetti and meatballs, etc.

I envision a system where you'd intuitively come up with a weekly menu that would suggest some different stuff along with the usual suspects. Then on that day it could even send you a reminder to defrost certain stuff and when you should start cooking so the meal could be on the table at a certain time.

Celebrity chefs could even get in on the act and you could do a "Cook with [insert favority chef]" meal plan. For those people who don't know how to cook it could be a way for them to do a "Cooking with Julia" type instruction system where it would start with the basics and help the user build up skills. Roll in some instruction videos and tips and tricks type stuff. Obviously there'd have to be some advertisements, etc. to pay for the whole thing.

That would be interesting to me. A stove that can cook all by itself sounds like a tv dinner to me, that I don't want. What I do want is something that helps get me out of the rut of cooking the same meals over and over.

Recommended Recipes (2)

DaKong (150846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766625)

It occurs to me that I don't use the food I have that efficiently. If I want to cook a specific recipe, I go out and get those ingredients. Sometimes I have leftover ingredients. Sometimes I wind up with random things I can't think of how to use until they go bad and I throw them away.

So a useful feature in my kitchen would be an engine that would know what ingredients I have and how much, and what yummy recipes I could make with them that night. Even better, have that engine suggest recipes based on my likes & dislikes the way that Pandora or Spotify or Netflix recommend new songs or movies based on your preferences. For bonus points, have the engine be able to figure out how to re-use the leftover pork ribs from two nights ago into a new and different recipe (that is not soup :-)

Closed Loop Kitchen (2)

DaKong (150846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766749)

Philips had a concept called Microbial Kitchen [philips.com] a while back which included lights powered by methane as well as a stove that burns methane generated by composting kitchen waste. Devising appliances that cleave to that closed loop philosophy would be great.

Replicator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42766773)

One device... Food replicator. Great for meal & drink requests. Meal clean up is a breeze. It doesn't take up much space. And grocers will hate it.

Aquaponics (1)

DaKong (150846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766781)

Aerogarden [aerogarden.com] is an appliance that grows fresh herbs on your countertop. It would be excellent to combine something like this with aquaponics so you can have a steady supply of both veg and fish in your kitchen. You can't be more of a locavore than that.

Great idea!! (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about a year and a half ago | (#42766963)

the manufacturers are paying attention to home automation and connectivity and giving your oven an app.

I can't wait to try force-closing my oven! Yay, progress!

and hacker can be cooking a big gas explosion (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42767675)

and hacker can be cooking a big gas explosion by turning the gas without firing the lighter.

keep inventory of my food (1)

Dan9999 (679463) | about a year and a half ago | (#42767839)

I want the kitchen to know all the food that i have, and if there's something that it doesn't know then it asks me and i tell it. At the very least ot would show me some pictures of what it could possibly be if ot doesn't understand me. With cameras, scales also it should also know how much i have of everything.

With all that, it should be able to suggest different meals with what i have. This is the whole reason for all this.

Of course it could suggest an ingrediant here or there for something else, and of i likenthe suggestion, remind me when i use my app on my phone when im at the grocery store to check if i have eggs at home.

No half ass implementation please, i wouldnt have patience to configure anything or add app nto make it do what i want like these programs that pass for operating systems these days where operating the system is the last priority of their existence.

Oh, another unrelated kitchen wish would be a couple of robotic arms that would move along the back of the counter and pick up, clean, dry and put away all dirty dishes. Yes, no more dishwasher. Bonus points if i can throw the plate from the dining room table.

I would be willing to pay the amount of a new compact car for that last one.

50 years old washing maschine (1)

Crass Spektakel (4597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42768683)

an eigth years old washing mashine?

thats nothing. my mom got rid of her 50 years old Siemens washing machine. It wasn't broken, it just had a leaky pipe and was dump like bread.

Ok, it had its "flaws", e.g. it took 30-60 litres of water for washing. BUT the water could be reused or be taken from rain or other third grade water supplies. In fact if done right you could use the same 30 litres of rain water to wash 20 loads of clothes.

Clock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42768827)

All I really want is a way to sync all the clocks on all my appliances so they all display the same, correct, time. Nothing more than that.

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