When someone mentions the kitchen of the future, what do you think of? Talking appliances that respond to voice commands? Islands that, with a push of a button, transform into a dining room table with a fully cooked meal on it? Robotic chefs that yell catch phrases and clean your kitchen at the end of every meal?
Unfortunately — or perhaps fortunately — those sort of Jetson-like capabilities aren't available (yet). But technology does have a large role in the kitchen of today. As our lifestyles have changed, and the function of the kitchen has changed, technology has advanced to meet our needs.
The kitchen is no longer a room strictly for preparing food. As homework, bill-paying, laundry, casual entertaining and other non-cooking activities have migrated to the kitchen, it has grown in size, and some modern floor plans make the kitchen the home's central location. Entertainment and information systems help motivate other family members to actually come into the kitchen, sit down, and eat a meal. Having a computer in the kitchen can help as well, especially if you need to look up recipes, pay some of the bills that have piled up on the counter or watch your e-mail for an important message.
For those with busy schedules, appliance technology is helping to cook food faster, cook food remotely, and remind you when food needs to be replaced. And for those that have hobbies that lead them into the kitchen, technology is allowing them to be even more passionate about what they love.
Of course, one day when your robotic chef is cooking all your meals, you might completely forget what it was like to ever do any sort of work in the kitchen. But until then, here are some products that can make your kitchen more entertaining, informative and efficient.