It's believed that over 60% of Americans have already got at least one IoT device – and given that this technology has the power to do everything from control your music system to run a bath from your smartphone, it's easy to see why. Over one third of Americans are in the market for a smart car, too, and there's a lot more of this kind of innovation on the way. But perhaps the room of the home which is most likely to be transformed by the Internet of Things – or IoT – is the kitchen.
The kitchen has always been a natural home for gadgets, and that makes it a prime location for new technologies to bed in. From quick orders of replacement items to smart thermometers, there are so many ways in which the IoT could change your cooking and dining experiences for the better. Here's a summary of how the new smart, robotic world could play out when it comes to your kitchen.
Taking out the trash isn't exactly the most glamorous of kitchen tasks, but it's got to be done. And you might as well make it easier to achieve, too, by using smart technology. At their simplest, smart bins can be a godsend as they can open and close using movement sensors – so if you're taking a large amount of trash over to the bin, you won't have to fiddle around with a complex lid. Instead, it will open itself and give you immediate access.
However, smart bins also have more sophisticated features, too: they can monitor how much energy you're wasting when you throw things away, for example, allowing you to get a good handle on your spending and your environmental footprint.
If you regularly find yourself ordering new items for your kitchen, like groceries and store cupboard essentials, it's probably the case that you'll run out from time to time. Instead of waiting until the next trip to the store, though, hardware like the Amazon Dash is likely to come in handy.
These buttons can allow you to order new items by simply pushing a switch – saving you plenty of time. And if you're concerned about kids accidentally pressing it, don't worry – you can still ask to receive a confirmation alert for your order. This, then, is an essential item for a smart house or apartment – and it's one that's rising in popularity, too.
When it comes to making recipes, the smart kitchen will be able to help. Weighing out ingredients is often a pain, for example: it's easy to get precise measurements wrong, and the calculator often needs to come out in order to quantify your items. But smart scales are able to adjust the quantities you need if you've got some friends coming over for dinner, say: that way, you won't waste a single gram of flour or butter or any other ingredient.
The kitchen, of course, is the place in which food and drink is prepared – and that means it's somewhere to enjoy yourself. As well as making life in the kitchen easier, then, the IoT can also make it tastier. Take a smart coffee machine: with one of these on side, you'll be able to prepare gorgeous cups of coffee brewed exactly to your liking from another room simply by logging into a smartphone app and pressing a button.
Smart slow cookers are also available: this way, you'll be able to get both the depth of flavor that all-day cooking offers while also being able to speed up or slow down the process remotely depending on how your day pans out.
The Internet of Things' impact on the kitchen, meanwhile, is likely to also manifest itself in the realm of food safety. Take the meater: this device can be used as a normal thermometer would be, but the difference is that the reading is taken through your app. If you're in a different part of the kitchen, then, you'll be able to assess what's happening with the cooking of the meat without breaking off. You'll be able to find out the current temperature as well as the ambient temperature, too, so you'll get plenty for your money.
The Internet of Things, then, is clearly a world that's full of potential. Whether it's the way in which it can turn your bin into a smart monitor of energy waste to the opportunities it holds for improving food safety in your kitchen, it's likely that most people's kitchens will be smarter than they are now in a decade or two's time. And while smart technology might still have some hurdles to overcome before it becomes secure and useful enough to be set up in every kitchen, there's no doubting that IoT-powered gadgets will be popular in the homes of the future.
This is a guest post by Lucy Fielding.