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.

Maytag Oven Self-Cleans in 1 Hour

Maytag LogoIf you think CES is all geeky gadgets and gear, think again: many household names take the opportunity to show off their latest technology-driven product developments. Home appliance manufacturer Maytag talks to Courtney about their latest innovations.

Self-cleaning ovens are associated with high temperatures, long waits, clouds of smoke and bad smells as the deposits burn off. Maytag’s new self-cleaning range uses “Aqualift” technology to reduce the temperature to 200 F and the time to 1 hour. It’s a coating on the bottom and sides of the oven that works with water to lift the deposits so that they can be simply wiped away.

The Maytag’s induction hob is controlled by a touch panel which keeps the top surface smooth and easy to clean. Induction heating is efficient, highly controllable and much safer as the hob itself doesn’t heat up (though there are other disadvantages). It’s a technology that’s been around for awhile but hasn’t yet gained widespread acceptance – perhaps its time has come.

Interview by Courtney Wallin of SDR News.

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Kenmore Connect Makes Appliances Smart

Kenmore‘s  Connect system turns your white goods and household appliances into smart devices. Through either a touchscreen on the device or remote access from a PC, you can see what your refrigerator is doing, how much energy it’s consuming and whether there’s a problem. If there is something up, Kenmore’s technicians can carry out remote diagnosis to see what’s wrong.

Available from 2012 across the Kenmore range.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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