How AI is changing the future of kitchens

Artificial intelligence so much more than just ChatGPT. Britta O’Boyle dives into how it’s going to be integral to kitchens of the future too.

Kitchens are in the midst of a revolution, but that revolution is no longer the kitchen becoming an open plan living space and the ‘heart of the home’. They’ve been there and done that for the last decade. Instead, kitchens of the future hinge on the latest buzzword that’s absolutely everywhere – artificial intelligence (AI).

AI comes in a plethora of formats, from creating PowerPoint presentations quicker than any human, to writing a 700-word article on installing a kitchen. Don’t worry, ChatGPT might be able to write how to install a kitchen (if you can forgive a few errors) but as clever as it is, ChatGPT and AI can’t actually install one.

What AI can do, however – and where it’s important in the future of kitchens – is within appliances and surrounding smart devices, anticipating customer’s needs, personalising meals, and streamlining the cooking process, whilst bridging the tech gap for the multi-generational kitchen.

AI in appliances: Gearing up for smarter kitchens
AI is already making its presence felt in a range of kitchen appliances and that’s only set to continue with the latest appliances from the likes of Samsung, LG and Haier all incorporating AI to deliver smarter, better connected and more personalised features for the end user.

Samsung announced its Bespoke AI collection of appliances at the beginning of April, for example, with all the products in the line-up equipped with high-performance AI chips, cameras and sensors. From the Bespoke 4-Door Flex Refrigerator with AI Family Hub+ that allows users to check expiration dates on food packages with the AI Vision Inside feature or ask for customised recipe recommendations with Samsung Food, to the Bespoke AI Laundry Combo that uses AI technology to recommend optimal wash cycles.

Haier meanwhile, recently introduced the ID Series of built-in appliances with the connected ovens featuring the company’s Bionicook technology including a Bionic Vision embedded camera that recognises food and automates the cooking process.

Samsung and Haier’s latest ranges are just that, however – the latest ranges. There are already a number of smart refrigerators available that go far beyond keeping food cold, including from Samsung, along with other manufacturers like LG. Also equipped with cameras and sensors, they too can recognise what’s inside, create shopping lists based on expiring items, and suggest recipes based on what a customer has inside and dietary preferences.

When it comes to AI-powered ovens, gone are the days of customers burning dinner. AI ovens can adjust cooking times and temperatures based on the food being prepared, just like Haier’s ID Series, ensuring a perfectly cooked roast, while voice-activated settings allow customers to preheat the oven or adjust settings hands-free.

AI can also be found within smart kitchen assistants, like Amazon’s Echo Hub and Google’s Nest Hub Max, both of which are worth knowing about to help customers create a truly connected kitchen and tie appliances and smart devices together by linking them up through Google Assistant, Alexa or Samsung’s SmartThings. These countertop devices equipped with voice recognition and touchscreens are personal kitchen companions, with customers able to ask for recipe ideas, convert measurements, or set timers, all through voice commands.

The multi-generational kitchen: Bridging the tech gap
The future kitchen isn’t just about fancy gadgets and appliances however; it’s about creating a space that caters to all generations. AI can help here too, bridging the tech gap and fostering a more inclusive cooking environment and space.

Voice-activated devices, whether appliances or smart assistants, can help older generations interact with technology that may feel daunting or overwhelming. Where younger users are likely to feel comfortable with an LCD touchscreen or app control, and many appliances offer this of course, highlighting features like voice functionality to older customers could help those in multi-generational households understand how to get the most out of their appliances.

AI also has the potential to be key in bridging the culinary knowledge gap between generations in the future. Imagine grandparents sharing family recipes with grandchildren through interactive screens – like the refrigerator door – that translate and explain cooking techniques, ultimately fostering a connection between generations and preserving cooking traditions.

A glimpse into the future kitchen
The future kitchen is brimming with possibilities through AI. From smarter appliances to personalised meal planning, AI has the potential to dramatically change the way customers cook, eat, and connect within the heart of their homes.

AI could analyse customer’s health data, dietary restrictions, and taste preferences to create a personalised meal plan for the week, for example. While grocery shopping lists could end up being a thing of the past, with AI fridge-to-door delivery ensuring customers always have the ingredients on hand and never run out of milk again.

As technology evolves, it’s of course important to strike a balance between convenience and human connection, ensuring that the kitchen remains a space for creativity, family bonding, and the joy of making a delicious meal, but the possibilities of AI are endless, and exciting.

See the latest in kitchen innovations and smart products, including the Kitchen of the Future attraction, alongside a packed live content programme at Installer Kitchens & Bathrooms, part of InstallerSHOW 2024.

Register for your free ticket here.

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