By now, it is difficult to conceal the fact that the “smart home” is not yet very smart. The promise of a Jetson’s lifestyle is not in sight. This is most noticeable in the kitchen. We have a few devices that talk to us, but ordering a pizza for home delivery is still best done by phone.
Joe Ray puts his finger on why we seem stuck. We have not yet decided what we want from our smart kitchen. More precisely, what experiences in the kitchen do we want improved? Do we want push button convenience, or do we want a learning experience? Or do we want more and better social experiences? but putting a camera inside a fridge doesn’t do much. Nor does connecting all of your kitchen gadgets to your smart phone.
For example, my new Anova cooker is a dream. But the thing about it is that I don’t have to worry about temperature or timing. The machine holds the temp steady and timing doesn’t matter. I can even overcook for an hour or two with no ill effect. So why do I need a smartphone app that offers a timer and temp control?
My own thinking is that we need tools that better connect four main activities in the kitchen (1) menu planning — including finding inspiration, adjusting to the seasons, and linking to my dining out regime (2) food and gadget shopping, (3) cooking — and tracking how well I do over time with dishes that I like to eat, and (4) cleaning and storage. For me, the tech ecology that provides better connections between these would most improve my lifestyle.And any one or all could be improved by adding an appropriate social dimension.Most important, tech can make tracking what I do and how I do it much easier, so that I can get more out of my time in the kitchen. Tracking and planning are two sides to the same coin.
Anyone offering that?