By now you’re making your list and checking it twice. Isn’t it amazing how that list has changed during our lifetimes?
My lists used to be about things that got me out of the house, got my blood pumping and required zero electricity to bring to a boil—bikes and kites, bats and balls, fishing gear and a personal armory large enough for a zombie apocalypse.
You too, I bet. Your lists may have been slightly different, but they were certainly nostalgic throwbacks to a time when life ebbed and flowed at a pace that seems glacial by today’s standards.
I woke up today trying to remember the very early kitchens of my youth. They must have been very forgettable.
No doubt you’re looking to upgrade some things in your kitchen in the coming months. Things are evolving so fast that it’s hard to keep up.
But, progress isn’t optional for those who choose to stay on the grid. And if you opt to embrace it, there are some amazing, even revolutionary things coming to a kitchen near you.
Admittedly, some of the newfangled gadgetry seems a little too kitsch for the kitchen, but some of it is an Internet of Things (IoT) drool fest.
Let’s start with the dreaded grocery list. It’s one of life’s repeatable offenses, but it doesn’t have to be criminal. With devices like Amazon Dash, Hiku, and the GeniCan, ordering your next freightliner of milk (we have a teenage son) can be as easy as pressing a button or scanning a barcode. No, sadly, they don’t print money.
If you want your invisible IoT Jeeves to poke his nose into your food business a little more than most, there’s a fork for you. HAPIfork is an Internet-connected fork that tracks your gulps and gobbles so that you have more than just your internal voice piling on the shame and guilt. Or, less cynically, helping you track your nutrition. Read it how you want. Smile.
Why stop with your fork? Vessyl joins the fray, foraying into your drinking habits. (Just the coffee, juice and cola varieties, of course…let’s not take this tech revolution too far, eh?)
But calorie counting forks and cups assume that you have food in the fridge. Did you forget to check?
It’s been a long week, you’re ready to head home for the weekend, but you need to know if you’re going to be able to have your bacon-and-egg-comfort-food-Saturday-morning repast. One problem: you forgot to check the fridge, and you know that if you make it home before the store, all bets are off.
The Internet has your back.
Egg Minder is a tray that keeps track so you don’t have to. Just fire up your phone today, and you’ll be firing up your stove tomorrow.
Or, you can take this whole IoT home makeover to a whole new level and plop down some serious cash for a fridge with a view—yep, they are making IoT refrigerators with internal cameras you can check from your phone.
I’m just gonna pause there and let you ruminate on that for a minute.
Okay, the Internet has tracked your food and filled your fridge, but will it cook your meal? Almost.
There are a range of emerging products that let you set it and forget it, the likes of which Ron Popeil never even dreamed about. From smart pans to connected plates and all the IoT cooking magic in between, there are so many new products rolling out that it’s hard to track.
Crock Pot has the WeMo, there’s Mellow for sous-vide (as if I know), and Everycook for turning the pressure up on your food from afar.
Is all of this still a little pedestrian for most of us?
But, the writing’s on the wall (digital wall, that is), and it’s not going away. Our kitchens, like our phones, cars and computers, are about to shift into a new level of connectedness, and we best start preparing the recipe for success, now. If we don’t, our kids and grandkids will be preparing the jokes and jibes that are sure to follow.
You don’t want to be caught dead with the flip-phone of fridges, do you?
Don’t answer that!
Unless your fridge is on the other end of the line, of course. Who knows, you might be out of milk and eggs again.
Richard Singleton, MACE, MAMFC, LPC, is the executive director at STARRY in Round Rock.