Filed Under:

Kitchens Of The Future Will Really Know How To Cook

Play associated audio

Kitchens are getting smarter.

Some refrigerators can let you know when the door is open, or if the milk is past its sell-by date. They make ice at night during less expensive, off-peak energy hours. There are dishwashers that can contact a repairman.

It probably won't be long before you can become Facebook friends with your microwave.

The first microwave oven — the Radarange — weighed 750 pounds and was bought by a Cleveland restaurant in 1947 for $3,000. Later home models had a pull-out box for recipe cards. Paper recipe cards. So quaint.

Today, there are refrigerators with touch screens on the door that keep track of the food inside and suggest recipes to match. Imagine what you could do with pomegranate yogurt, wilted Tuscan kale and half a can of chickpeas.

Right now, it's all about the smart phone.

Warwick Stirling, Whirlpool's senior director of sustainability and connectivity, says consumers want to use their mobile phones to take back control of their hectic lives. Manufacturers are listening.

Ultimately, your phone will be a remote control for everything in your life that runs on electricity. You will be able to use it from other rooms of the house — or from other parts of the country. Some day, all your appliances will talk to each other through the smart grid. Then your dishwasher will know not to run because the electric car is charging. Meanwhile, you can go to the movies.

It's not happening fast. Whirlpool has just introduced a suite of smart appliances — but they're only available in Chicago. Stirling says to expect dramatic change in the next five years.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers says all appliance makers are poised and ready to jump into the fray. Now, if only the dishwasher could load itself.

Bonny Wolf is managing editor of AmericanFoodRoots.com and editor of NPR's Kitchen Window.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Book Review: 'Kinder Than Solitude'

Ellah Allfrey reviews Kinder Than Solitude, by Yiyun Li.
NPR

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

Impatient gardeners don't have to wait for summer to harvest salad fixings. A surprising variety of crops will bring homegrown produce to your table in as little as three weeks.
WAMU 88.5

To Replace Rep. Jim Moran, Virginia Democrats Raking In Big Bucks

The race has opened the door to an epic primary season that had 13 Democrats formally announcing their candidacy.
NPR

When Parents Are The Ones Too Distracted By Devices

Parents often complain that smartphones keep their kids distracted from conversation. What happens when it's the other way around, when kids can't get their smartphone-glued parents' attention?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.