Smart Kitchen Appliances - Cooking with Embedded Devices

As technology continues its relentless march into our lives, it seems that we will soon start living like the Jetsons. A decade ago, the science behind a microwave oven was a wonder to many people, whereas today we use it on a daily basis and can’t imagine our lives without it. Indeed, we are racing towards a smart-future where intelligent systems will be part and parcel to our everyday lives. In fact, we have already reached that stage where technology is transforming the way we work, the way we talk, and the way we eat.

You are probably asking yourself “How has technology changed the way we eat?” Guess you haven’t given put much thought into the technology behind the microwave or the coffeemaker.  In fact, we’re not talking about a single technology here. Appliances like microwave ovens are possible due to the convergence of different types of technologies. For instance, you need to have an embedded system, a magnetron, waveguide, and an array of smaller components to build a microwave oven. But, there’s one thing that lies under the hood of almost all of the smart/automatic/semi-automatic appliances around us - embedded systems.

So, in a way, the progress in embedded technology is rapidly changing our lifestyle including the way we prepare our meals. Have a look at how embedded systems are powering some of today’s smart kitchen appliances:

 

1. Smart Grill

This is not an ordinary George Foreman grill. This smart grill is an intelligent kitchen appliance that can cook almost any food based on its weight, texture, and desired level of cooking. Smart grills are equipped with intelligent sensors that allow you to monitor the cooking and control the settings straight from your iPad!

 

2. Smart Fridge

While the smart fridge hasn’t yet reached that stage where it can order food items automatically based on the current stock levels, it is well on its way. Until that happens, we will have to use “smart” fridges that come with LCD displays and smartphone connectivity options.

 

3. Coffee Makers

Coffee makers such as the Keurig are one of the earliest examples of how embedded systems have made its way into our kitchens. Coffee makers are getting smarter, now you can command them to brew coffee directly from your smartphone or tablet. And, you also have the choice to set the desired strength of your coffee. That’s a cool feature.

 

4. Fryers

Companies have started rolling out Bluetooth enabled fryers that let you select your favorite recipes from a smartphone. It is one of those smart kitchen appliances that can determine the cooking temperature on its own.

 

5. Microwave Ovens

The next generation microwave ovens are here. With a smart oven, you can now set it to pre-heat while you are on your way home with just a few taps on your smartphone. On top of that, these ovens can set themselves up based on the recipe you are going to cook. Pretty smart, isn’t it?

 

6. Smart Fork

While this gadget doesn’t help you cook, it will surely help you keep your body weight in check. The smart fork comes with special sensors that can monitor your eating habits. It will then connect to your smartphone via an app or Bluetooth to inform you about how frequently you eat, the number of servings, and more.

In addition to those mentioned above, the list of kitchen appliances that rely on embedded systems spans the spectrum from induction cooktops to smart electric pans. Thanks to the advancements in embedded systems and the Internet-of-Things, smart kitchen appliances are now commonplace. As the smart kitchen technology continues to expand, we will soon have a host of cool kitchen gadgets up for grabs that will likely cook food by itself. Until then, you might want to look around your kitchen and see if it is smart as it can be. Bon appetit.

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