Best of CES: Whirlpool’s smart kitchen of the future
At last week’s CES, Whirlpool demoed its Interactive Kitchen of the Future. (Click here to see our interview with Whirlpool). The futuristic kitchen focuses on ways technology can help families care for each other by thinking ahead, guiding and helping personalize the cooking experience.
The Whirlpool Global Consumer Design (GCD) group has evolved its conceptual smart kitchen to learn a family's likes and routines so the environment and appliances can anticipate their unique needs and adapt to unforeseen changes (e.g., getting through the morning rush or unexpectedly taking care of a sick child).
"We believe the most powerful innovations are inspired by human behaviors and needs," Tony Kirk, senior manager, GCD Advanced Studio, said in a statement. "A team of dedicated specialists analyzed a typical family routine and matched that with the latest emerging technologies to create Whirlpool brand's vision of how a family will cook and clean in the near future."
The Whirlpool smart kitchen includes features like:
- Anticipating: The kitchen syncs the family's schedule with meal preparation to anticipate when the school bus will arrive or track progress on their "to-do list." Recognizing the school bus is only three minutes away and there isn't enough time for morning oatmeal prompts the suggestion to add a breakfast bar to a bagged lunch. A signal from the baby monitor notes when it's time to warm a baby bottle on the induction cooktop.
- Guided and Personalized Cooking: Using image and speech recognition, the smart system catalogues each family member's favorite foods and nutritional goals to create personalized recipe suggestions and recognize a change in plans when the cook decides to improvise and make a quesadilla instead of a grilled cheese. The suite also displays cooking alerts and reminders to "flip" or "stir" displayed on the Smart Backsplash.
- Adapting to Consumer Need: The in-sink dishwasher allows users to clean a few cups and plates without having to run the entire dishwasher.
- Sensing and Reacting: Smart vessels sense their contents and automatically heat or cool to the ideal temperature, and the presence of packaged goods will auto-set a microwave.
Throughout CES, Whirlpool simulated a day in the life of someone caring for their family in their interactive smart kitchen ecosystem via real cooking demonstrations.