Over the past few years, there has been a surge of home automation products to make our lives easier, more efficient and, in many cases, even more reliant on our smartphones.
With the kitchen being a central hub of activity, it’s no surprise that a lot of these advances in home tech revolve around the things we enjoy most — cooking, eating, and spending time with family and friends.
In the gallery above, we’ve rounded up 10 neat kitchen gadgets that we can expect will become the norm in the decked-out — that is, “teched-out” — homes of the near future.
1. Egg Minder
Is that egg still good? You don’t want to find out the hard way. The Egg Minder can keep you apprised of how old your eggs are, and even tracks the number you have remaining. Perfect when you’re debating the purchase at the grocery store. Using a complementary mobile app, Egg Minder will send you a push notification when it’s time to replenish that egg supply.
2. Prep Pad
The Prep Pad takes the digital food scale to a whole new level. Part smart scale, part nutritional guide, part dietician, the Prep Pad allows you to not only measure your food, but also determine the nutritional content of everything you place on top.
Using an iPad app (iPhone app in the works), you specify what item you are weighing (manually or with a barcode) and it displays helpful dietary information including calories, protein, fats and carbs.
A blender might not be the first thing you think of when you hear “high-tech kitchen,” but Blendtec’s appliances put that notion to rest. The Blendtec Designer 700, its newest model, features a whopping 1700-watt motor, six pre-programmed options and a very cool touchscreen interface for ultimate control of your blending needs.
Crock Pot meals can be the ultimate in convenience and time-saving, but they only work when you remember to turn them on. With the WeMo-enabled Slow Cooker and your smartphone, you can turn on your chicken chili from anywhere, as well as adjust the temperature, alter cooking time and even get reminders so you’ll never be stuck with raw chicken again.
Price: $99.99 (available in the spring)
5. GE Brillion
Speaking of cooking from afar, the GE Brillion app (which we covered in January) works with several GE Profile wall ovens to enable remote turn-on, preheating while you’re driving home, temperature changes and checking meat probe settings. The app will also alert you when your gorgeous pot roast is done.
The best part is never again having to worry if you’ve left the oven on.
Price: Varies depending on oven model
Not only are simplehuman’s trash cans aesthetically pleasing, but they are smart, too. With a handy sensor built in, a simple wave of your hand magically opens the can and completely eliminates the need for any foot pedals or latches. It’s also fingerprint-proof, but you won’t be touching it anyway. Yes, there is such a thing as a gorgeous garbage can.
What kind of kitchen goes without music? The Model S wireless is a fantastic Bluetooth speaker with a beautiful design and amazing sound quality. The speaker syncs with a smartphone, tablet or laptop via Bluetooth, and its compact and classy design will complement any kitchen décor.
If you live in cramped quarters and want to maximize space, how about multitasking your appliances and using the AwoX StriimLIGHT for both your lighting and music needs? Amazingly, it’s actually an energy-efficient LED bulb with a built-in Bluetooth speaker that you can screw into any traditional light fixture. It comes with a remote control for music playing, giving your room both light and sound at the very same time.
9. Launch Port
The iPad has long been an essential tech gadget for the kitchen, and the LaunchPort is a great accessory that makes using the iPad even easier. Simply slide it into a LaunchPort sleeve and marvel as it magnetically attaches to the base stand or wall mount.
LaunchPort also features inductive charging, so you never have to worry about cords getting in the way of your cooking.
Price: All items sold separately
With a tablet in the kitchen, you always run the risk of spills, dropped food and messy hands. Sony has an Xperia Tablet that is specifically meant for kitchen use, and it can withstand all the rigors it is exposed to.
You can even run the tablet under running water to rinse it off, or submerge it in water for up to 30 minutes. That’s kitchen tough.
While this was just a concept on display at CES 2014, this amazing interactive cooktop really wowed the crowd who oohed and ahhed over the touchscreen surface. Not only can you cook on it, you can also access recipes, your social media accounts and email. Computing and cooking in one, and an amazing glimpse into what’s to come.