Top tech trends
Rewind two years to the last edition of LivingKitchen and a post-show report was likely only to have mentioned the Internet of Things (IoT) in passing. Since then, the IoT has taken hold, with kitchen manufacturers coming up with smart devices designed to make our lives easier.
The IoT offers more than just convenience: innovations are also helping to tackle bigger issues such as food wastage. Just look at Liebherr’s SmartDeviceBox for an example. Created in collaboration with Microsoft, this connects to a refrigerator via cameras that record and monitor the groceries stored inside. The device then feeds this information into an inventory list (accessed using an app), so you can see what’s in the fridge and avoid buying duplicates. You can also use the MIA (media intelligence assistant) voice module to add extra groceries to your shopping list.
Wireless technology isn’t the only way to connect devices. Miele showcased its Black Wing Music extractor, which has invisible integrated loudspeakers and amplifier that play music via a Bluetooth connection. This product is compatible with all common smartphones and tablets, so you can personalise your cooking time with music from your favourite streaming service or radio station. In terms of design and function, the new Black Wing Music is derived from its sister model, the DA 6096 W, which has been on sale since 2014.
German manufacturer Nolte has also dabbled with technology, joining electronics giant Sony to introduce its Xperia Touch projector into the kitchen. The device features an infrared sensor that transforms the projected image into a virtual screen that you can type on.
LivingKitchen also showed how advances in technology are being used to improve product performance, even for non-technological features such as work surfaces. For example, Silestone’s Eternal collection, which debuted on Cosentino’s stand, is manufactured with ‘ N-Boost’ technology, which modifies the material at a molecular level to produce superior stain resistance.
The collection looks good, too. Surface colours pay homage to the most sought-after exotic marbles in the natural stone sector: Calacatta Gold, Statuario, Charcoal Soapstone, Serena and Marquina.