Time and time again, in cartoons and films (I’m looking at you, Jetsons and Fifth Element), we’ve been shown what our kitchens will be like in the future. However, we still don’t have robots to do our washing, or food replicators to make our dinners.
So, instead of fantasising about what our kitchens could be like in 100 years, we’re going to take a look at the kitchen of tomorrow. That means looking at technology that’s already available, but hasn’t yet been integrated into our kitchens.
That being said, we were, and hope you will be too, amazed at what could be in our kitchens in years to come.
In the last ten years, touchscreen technology has been integrated into almost everything we use. There are already numerous kitchen appliances with touchscreen displays available, but going forwards companies will incorporate this technology into our worktops and splashbacks.
With more takeaways consumed every year, and ready meals steadily becoming the norm, it appears that people have fallen out of love with cooking. Interactive tables are looking to reverse this trend by making cooking quicker and easier than ever before.
Built-in scales allow you to get the exact proportions for your cakes without having to drag out a separate scale from the back of the cupboard. A camera above the table and built-in Wi-Fi transform the possibilities you would find on a simple worktop. Place an ingredient on the surface, and the table will automatically recognise it, show nutritional information, and suggest potential recipes. Place two or more ingredients next to each other, and the table will show you what you could make by combining those items.
Induction technology is already available, however, an interactive worktop would allow you to place a pan anywhere on the table to begin cooking. The rest of the surface is cool to touch, and the area beneath the pan is cool almost instantly after it’s been removed.
Search for recipes, watch how-to videos, and talk to your friends with the touchscreen keyboard and web browser.
Think this is hard to believe? Take a look at this video from IKEA’s 2025 Concept Kitchen:
The kitchen used to be the undeniable hub of the home, but it seems to have been left in the past as technology has powered ahead. However, interactive splashback technology could start to change everything.
Imagine walking into your kitchen and automatically seeing your daily schedule, travel and weather updates, what food items are in your fridge or larder, and what you can make with them for your lunch. All of this would be projected on to a splashback that uses facial recognition to show the correct information, as well as voice and touch control, so you can cancel appointments or ask it to show you alternative information.
The Internet of Things has been making its way into our kitchens in recent years, albeit rather slowly. There are already a number of appliances such as ovens, washing machines, and fridges, which have associated apps that allow you to carry out basic functions from your phone.
In years to come, we imagine this to have taken the next step.
This could include cameras inside fridges and freezers that can tell when you’re running low on certain products, or laundry appliances that track how much detergent you’ve been using. They will then automatically order replacements from your specified supplier.
Or, how about ovens and kettles that utilise GPS tracking to switch on when you’re on your way home from work? So, as soon as you walk in the door, you’ll have boiled water and a pre-heated oven.
We could all make good use out of appliances that talk to each other. So, when you take a chicken out of the fridge, the fridge will tell the oven, which will automatically heat up to the correct temperature.
The kitchen of the future won’t just be about the latest and greatest technology. With British households throwing away £12 billion a year on avoidable food waste – that’s roughly £480 per household – we believe that there’ll be a lot more focus on responsible waste disposal. While we may have to wait some time until we see Wall-E trundling up and down our streets, there’ll definitely be changes in our kitchens over the next ten years.
Some households already have compost bins in their gardens, but what about people living in apartments, or those who don’t have gardens? By integrating a self-regulating compost bin into the kitchen units, you’ll have an easy and environmentally friendly way to dispose of your leftover food.
Rather than looking for new technology, this solution looks towards the natural world. Worms will eat through the waste and turn it into usable compost.
These creatures are also self-populating, and reproduce only to achieve the perfect population, depending on the amount of food available. So, this means no maintenance from your side.
When it comes to non-organic waste, the biggest challenge is convincing consumers that they need to change. Successful trials have already been carried out in South Korea, where households are charged, depending on the amount of non-recyclable waste they throw away. Special smart cards are scanned before placing anything in the bin, which then weighs the rubbish and issues an automatic charge, based on the amount.
Although this isn’t exactly a change to the way our kitchens will look, it could have an impact on our behaviour.
So, what will our kitchens look like in the next ten years? We could potentially have interactive worktops, touchscreen splashbacks, appliances that talk to each other, and lots of worms. We can’t wait!