Kitchens of the future are always fascinating and usually dead wrong. (Have a look at this one from 1967 and compare it to where we are now.) GE Appliances is only looking ahead to 2025 with their ideas for the Home of the Future, and they are not so wacky. According to the press release,
"This isn't about the Jetsons or pie in the sky ideas," says Lou Lenzi, director for GE Appliances' Industrial Design Operation. "Home 2025 is about reality-based innovation that will be possible over the next decade."...."To project what the Home of 2025 may look like, we first took a high level look at where we think society, culture, and technology is taking us and intersected that with ways in which we could make our lives less complex and more enjoyable."
Some of the ideas are wonderful; others are a bit silly. Lets have a look at the kitchen first:
The nicest thing about this is that GE assumes that people actually cook; most kitchens of the future these days have 3D printers turning out our dinner. It's also nice to know that people will still appreciate Global G-series knives.
Preparing healthy meals is made easy with the features of this preparation center. Produce can be easily accessed from sliding mesh dividers which allow humid air to circulate evenly, keeping it fresher longer. The sink is equipped with cleaning, drying and cutting areas. An automatically watered herb garden is within reach to boost the flavor of your meals.
Definitely preferable to this.
YES! the in-sink dishwasher returns! In one of our most popular posts of 2011, I showed a vaporware Kitchenaid in-sink dishwasher, noting that it is so logical. "Like magic! Dump the dirty dishes in the sink and press WASH!:
With the in-sink dishwasher in GE's Home 2025, wash small loads in just 5 minutes. Integrated sensors in the sink alert you when chemicals or bacteria are present in your produce, so you can keep washing your produce until the readout says the contaminants are gone.
It's also a double-drawer unit with extra capacity below. I have always loved that idea. Wait, there's more: " Gray water from the dishwasher in GE's Home 2025 is recycled back through and can be used for the sustainable growing wall, where herbs and vegetables are harvested."
Just what we needed dept.
Be afraid, be very afraid.
The smart faucet in GE's Home 2025 not only dispenses filtered water, but also ice and carbonated water, vitamins and various beverages. Just place your finger on the faucet and the built-in hydration sensor lets you instantly see your hydration level.
I can just see this getting a soda pop button and all kinds of branded Vitamin Water type things that cost far too much money and that we don't need.
Julia Child in a can
There are a number of things right about this; I love the idea that once again they are promoting real cooking rather than just heating. Not sure about the social aspects, or why one couldn't just use their iPad to do the same thing.
Imagine virtual experts who can help you learn to cook from the convenience of your own home or prepare great meals with friends around the country virtually. In GE's home of the future, improvements to voice recognition, motion plus facial recognition and deep-thinking technology will create "human" simulations of experts in fields like cooking. Sensors in kitchen appliances, as well as virtual cooking tutors will give instructions tailored to your skill level and interests, so meals come out perfect every time. Friends and family can even share a celebrity chef experience with a replica of a famous maestro giving instructions to make it more of a party than lesson.
Urban dwellers can achieve grilling greatness with a compact, modular grill - a new design that's a part of GE's home of the future project called Home 2025. Convenient window mounted unit uses powerful, yet compact, mechanisms to draw smoke out of the living space, allowing for grilling convenience.
This is just a terrible idea that will make everyone crazy. Balcony barbecues are the bane of many condos and apartments as the smells go straight upstairs. And how many windows have those safety rails to keep the thing from falling into the street? How many apartments actually have opening windows that big anymore? This one is dead on arrival.
However on balance, this is a kitchen of the future that looks plausible and is worth waiting for. More at GE Appliances and a look at some other rooms tomorrow.