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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