Tag Archives: kitchen

Transparent Appliances from Morphy Richards at Gadget Show Live



Morphy Richards LogoWhen I arrived at Gadget Show Live, household and kitchen appliances weren’t at the forefront of my mind, but I was astounded by Morphy Richard’s transparent toaster and iron. Yes, you read that right – transparent – you can see right through them. Impressed and with thoughts of transparent aluminium, I chatted with Leon about the new “Redefine” range.

Morphy Richards have four appliances in the new range; a hot water dispenser, kettle, iron and toaster. While all are beautifully designed, it’s the latter two which make an impact with transparency when there’s a expectation of solidity. There are no tricks here with hidden wires either; the ThermoGlass is the heating element and gets hot to smooth the clothes and brown the bread. Aside from the visual impact of a see-through toaster, the ThermoGlass provides a lovely even heat across the whole surface and it’s easy to see how toasted the bread is.

Morphy Richards Toaster

In addition to the good looks, the new appliances focus on energy efficiency. The benefit of the hot water dispenser is that only the right amount of hot water is heated every time and the ATOMiST vapour iron uses 75% less energy and 80% less water.

The Redefine range has been on sale since before Christmas. The toaster is GB£199, the kettle is £99, the iron is £249 and hot water dispenser is £149. They’re pricey but you’re not just buying a kitchen gadget, you’re buying an aesthetic experience.

Morphy Richards iron


Smart Cooking in the Kitchen with SmartyPans



Smarty Pans logoTracking nutritional information when cooking from a recipe can be difficult as it’s not as easy as looking at the back of the packet to find out how many calories are in 100g. Aside from adding up the constituent values, the cooking process can alter the composition too. If this is a familiar problem, then the Smartpans smart skillet might be the solution. Scott finds out more from Prachi Baxi, CEO and founder of Smartypans.

The solution comprises of two parts, the smart skillet and the complementary app, which communicates with the pan via Bluetooth. The clever bit is that the pan includes temperature and weight sensors, simplifying the cooking process as weights can be measured on the fly; the chef enters the food, such as chicken, into the app as it’s being added to the pan. The pan measures the weight of chicken being added, passes that to the app which then calculates calories and other nutritional information, adding that to the total for the meal.

The cooking processes can follow two different paths. The app can guide the inexperienced pot-stirrer through the recipe, directing what and when, but for the seasoned chef, the app can follow along and help out only as necessary.

With an expected retail price of US$299, the Smartypan is currently on pre-order for $209. The interview references an Indigogo campaign but that doesn’t seem to have started at time of writing.

Scott Ertz is a software developer and video producer at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Somabar Robotic Bartender mixes it up at CES



Somabar

The Somabar is robotic personal bartender that makes over 300 different drinks and listens to your drunken maudlin without complaining. Originally a Kickstarter project, the Somabar mixes spirits and infuse bitters to make the perfect cocktail in seconds. Scott drinks it all in with Dylan Purcell-Lowe, CEO of Somabar.

Neatly designed for the stylish home, the Somabar has six owner-refillable Soma Pods which hold liquid ingredients of choice, whether spirits, bitters or fruit juices. A connected smartphone app is used to call up the cocktail of choice which is then thoroughly mixed and dispensed by the Somabar. If there’s a particular recipe that you enjoy, it can be programmed into the app and the Somabar for your own custom drink.

The Somabar is currently in pre-order for US$429 with an expected delivery in July.

Of course, GNC always recommends responsible drinking and following alcohol consumption guidance as set by the relevant health body in your country.

Scott Ertz is a software developer and video producer at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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EasiSpread Heated Butter Knife



British Inventors ProjectThe next invention from the British Inventors’ Project at the Gadget Show Live continues the culinary theme and aims to fix the eternal problem of spreading butter straight from the fridge. Introducing the EasiSpread heated butter knife.

The first implement in the EasiChef range of kitchen utensils, the EasiSpread heats the leading edge of the knife to a little under 40C, softening the butter and making it much easier to spread on bread or bagel. The knife is heated electrically and the built-in battery can be recharged in the optional EasiDock charging unit. The blade itself is detachable and dishwasher safe, and it is expected that additional implements will be available in the future, including a heated ice cream scoop. I’d buy that version – nothing worse that chiselling out ice cream at -25C when the fancy takes you!

EasiSpread


SousChef Kitchen Assistant



British Inventors ProjectThe second concept product in the British Inventors’ Project at Gadget Show Live is the SousChef from Ben Rawls. The SousChef is designed to circumvent the issues typically encountered when trying to use technology in the kitchen, mainly that it’s wet and messy. The SousChef projects information onto the kitchen work surface and uses infrared (IR) feedback to detect the owners interactions with the projected image. As there’s no direct contact, the SousChef doesn’t get wet, messy or damaged. There’s a built-in ultraviolet (UV) light that sterilises kitchen utensils as well.

SousChef


Perfect Bake with Connected Scales at CES



Perfect BakeAlthough the Internet of Things is very much of the moment, sometimes all you need is a connected device. In this case, the device being connected is a set of kitchen scales. Todd and Todd start cooking with Darin Barri and Perfect Bake Scale and App.

Targetted at cooks and bakers, Perfect Bake combines digital scales with a tablet app to make sure that the weight (or more correctly mass) is just right. Connected via the audio jack, scales can weigh in real-time, showing the quantity on the tablet screen. The app has hundreds of recipes and can walk the baker through the steps with mixing times and instructional videos. The scales come with colour-coded preparation bowls to help too and the app can adjust quantities to suit appetite.

There’s an even an oven thermometer to make sure the temperature is right, so whatever’s baked, it’s baked perfectly every single time.

The app available for both Android and Apple devices, the Perfect Bake Scale and App is available now for $69.99 from Brookstone. A Bluetooth wireless version will be available later in 2015.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Todd Aune of The Elder Divide for the TechPodcast Network.

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Whirlpool shows off its “Kitchen of the future”



Whirlpool may not be a company you think of when it comes to tech and shows like the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. However, this year there was a growing trend there — technology is coming to home appliances. Whirlpool was there to unveil its plans for your future kitchen and TPN took a look.

It’s not really clear when this type of technology will show up in everyday homes, but it certainly is a fascinating concept. Cooking with light, micro-environments within a refrigerator and even pantry shelving that can warm and cool things.

The technology will not be here tomorrow, but the company is hoping for a 3-7 year timeframe. Its certainly some unique ideas, so check out the video posted below. Head over to Whirlpool for more information.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net

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NuWave Oven



There are only two of us and heating an oven always seems like a waste of energy. Not to mention you heat up the whole kitchen something I hate doing in the middle of the summer heat. Still there are times when you need to use an oven. In fact often during the holidays one oven doesn’t seem like enough. What we wanted was something that could take the place of an oven, but it had to be small, convenient and not to expense. After do some research my husband, (who is a bit of a kitchen gadget geek) decided to purchase the NuWave Pro Infrared Oven at Sears for $97.00.

He said it was really easy to assemble, it was just a matter of getting the top connected. The first thing he did was brown a turkey breast. He did it without reading directions and said it worked fine, although in his opinion it was a bit overcooked. Due to this he said it would probably have been better if he had read the directions. According to the book that comes with the NuWave Pro Oven you can bake, broil, air fry, grill, barbecue, steam and even dehydrate in it.

I asked him what he would change about it. The one complaint he has is with the temperature read out. The read out doesn’t show temperature, but instead shows power numbers from 1–10, with each number representing a temperature range. He thought it would be better if the actual temperature was shown, that way you could control the temperature more precisely.

Despite this complaint, he said he would buy the NuWave Pro Oven again. I think that this would be a great gift for someone who doesn’t have an oven, like a student or perhaps someone living alone for whom heating up a big oven doesn’t make sense.


Hiku on Kickstarter



Let’s say you’re a crack team at Palm who suddenly has nothing to do because HP decides to get out of the mobile device market. What do you do to follow up on the Treo, the Centro, WebOS and the TouchPad? You create Hiku, a pebble-sized gadget that “turns everyday grocery shopping into something modern, magical and fun” and fund it via Kickstarter.

What is Hiku? Basically, it’s a barcode scanner with built-in wifi that’s intended to send your shopping list to your mobile phone so that when you are in store, you can get everything that you need. And if you don’t have a box or tin handy to scan, you can talk to Hiku and tell it what you want.

Hiku Scanning

Hiku

Out of the box, it’s going to support iOS with Android coming along soon after launch. There’s also integration with Evernote and Remember the Milk. Check out some of the videos on Kickstarter or YouTube – they show what the Hiku can do and it is really cool. More advanced features include checking prices on the Net and showing where a product can be bought cheaply.

One of the cleverest things is how you program your wifi settings onto the Hiku. It uses Electric Imp‘s BlinkUp technology which uses light pulses to transmit information and the light pulses are generated by your smartphone. Amazing – there’s a video of the prototype working on YouTube.

I’m backing this project partly to support the ex-Palm guys, but mainly because it’s such a clever kitchen gadget. The Kickstarter funding round closes in about 2 days and they need another $24k-odd to hit the $80,000 target. $99 gets you on the list for a Hiku so if you are thinking of ordering one, get your pledge in now.

 


Auto Stirrer at The Gadget Show



auto stirrerThe Gadget Show isn’t all high-tech TVs and tablets; sometimes the gadget is much more practical. Case in point, Hygiene Innovations’ Auto Stirrer, a gadget for the kitchen which unsurprisingly stirs saucepans to stop the contents burning.

As you can see from the small picture on the left, it’s a tripod-like device. Obviously the feet go in the sauce and the grey cylinder on top vibrates to provide the rotation. The feet are covered in silicone rubber, making it safe to use on non-stick pans and the stirrer is dishwasher-proof, too.

The auto stirrer takes 4 AA batteries and is currently on sale for £14.95. Here’s a picture of the auto stirrer in action.

Auto stirrer

Listen to my interview with Harry Rajdev from Nine Stars & Hygiene Innovations.