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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.

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