By Lee Anne Culpepper, Networx
What does the future hold for kitchen design? With the technology available today, such as robot vacuum cleaners, refrigerators that have built in computers on the door, microwaves that scan directions on a box and cook the contents, faucets that turn on with a tap, drawers and cabinets that open from a slight touch or a remote…what else can the future possibly hold?
Just imagine: Cabinetry that can change color or play a movie, and a cook top that can be relocated on a countertop with the stroke of a hand. You deem this preposterous? Read on.
The future of kitchen cabinets
The element most subject to change is the traditional cabinetry. The kitchen of the future will be concealed behind flat doors. The wall of doors will integrate the kitchen into the room as a back drop instead of a focal point. With the push of a button, magically the doors open; the kitchen along with the stove and sink become accessible. The drawers and cabinets will silently open and close with a control or electromagnetic touch sensors. Instead of wood, the cabinets will be glass.
Advantages of glass constructed cabinetry are numerous. Glass is a versatile renewable resource that can be recycled and thoroughly cleaned. It can be made scratch resistant, as well as anti-viral. It is also compatible with modern and future technology.
Smooth glass cabinets are a perfect back drop for LED wallpaper that can change pattern by use of a personal computer. The cabinets could be red for a Christmas party, orange for Halloween or even a wood pattern. Using the computer, a movie or a ball game could be watched on the cabinets. The color or scene could be changed as often as desired. Since all of this can be accomplished with today’s technology, imagine what will be added with future advances.
Countertops of the future
A natural fit with the technology of the future is green design in the kitchen. It takes 325 million years to form granite and marble in the earth. Glass is a wonderful alternative and recycled glass, as a counter top, is already available in the United States under the product name "Glass 2". Glass 2 can be fabricated just like real stone for counter tops. Glass 2 is 99% recycled glass, stain-resistant, virtually scratch-resistant, maintenance free, cold and heat resistant, has permanent colors, and unlike granite, Glass 2 contains no radioactive elements.
Another reason that glass countertops will be imperative for the kitchen of the future is induction cook tops. With induction cooking, a high frequency magnetic field moves molecules back and forth rapidly creating friction causing the pan to become hot (the pan must have some steel in it to be a conductor). With induction cooking, 90% of the heat goes into the pan, saving energy. By integrating the induction technology with the laptop capability, the cook top can be moved anywhere on the counter top or island by the sweep of a hand (just like the smart phone of today).
Kitchen appliances that Judy Jetson would love
The future kitchen will do some of the work for you. For instance, a box of crackers can be scanned into the computer of the appliance. The appliance will have the capability of keeping a grocery list up to the minute by identifying which foods are getting low and reporting the percentage of the product that is left in the box. It will also oversee the expiration date and notify us when the food is past date. The grocery list will be maintained in the computer. “Rosie” did not even have it this good!
Samsung currently has a refrigerator with a touch computer screen on which a note can be written (instead of on a chalk board or paper), Pandora music can be played while you cook, recipes can be looked up or the weather forecast can be checked.
Another awesome technological feature of the future kitchen is wireless electricity. Electricity will be incorporated by using transmitters under the counter. Therefore, there will be no plugs and unsightly cords on the counter for appliances.
With the technology that is available today, tomorrow's upscale state-of-the-art kitchen has many capabilities. Like the Jetsons' kitchen, there will be robots to clean the floor and systems to keep track of food use and expiration dates. With the touch of a finger, cabinet doors and drawers will open, change colors and scenery, or even play a movie. Imagine the possibilities of a cook top that can simply be relocated to a different location for convenience. As the saying goes, "The world truly is at our fingertips!”