Are Smart Kitchens a Good Idea?
Being on the cutting edge is the name of the game. Everyone wants to have the latest gadgets as soon as it hits the market, and anyone that does not get one is a sad sack. However, that does not necessarily translate in the kitchen.
The smart kitchen, which makes up a big part of the smart home, has been in the works for a couple of decades, but has yet to really make a breakthrough into the mainstream. It is not for lack of trying, either.
Appliance manufacturers and tech companies are all over the smart home idea, and the idea is to get there by way of the kitchen It may be a refrigerator that tells you when you’re out of milk, or an app that suggest recipes based on what is available in it.
Big brands like Whirlpool and Amazon are in a race to cash in on the Internet of Things shtick by connecting everything, from toasters to dishwashers, and embedding artificial intelligence and touch screens to make them interactive.
The downsides of a smart kitchen
They all sound snazzy and in your face, but it has been a tough decade to find early adopters. Just 1 in 20 homes in the US own at least one smart appliance, so saturation is not yet a problem. Here are some obstacles to “smart” kitchen remodeling. Here are some downsides to smart kitchens.
The kitchen is usually the most common point of congregation of a family, and unless it is a very new family, there will already be some sort of cadence to how people use it. Introducing smart technology in what is primarily a place of tradition can disrupt the way people behave and move, or even feel about the kitchen.
On a more practical note, a smart kitchen may require a learning curve for those that habitually use it for cooking, cleaning, and storing. Most people already have a routine when they use a kitchen, and smart appliances might make that more difficult at first.
When cars first came out with an automatic transmission, and then a computer chip, car owners had to send them in more often than with older models. Whilst you could probably get a car going by tapping a terminal or tightening a bolt with ordinary tools, a smart car requires specialized knowledge and tools to diagnose and fix. Maintaining smart appliances with their touch screens and other complex components will most probably up the ante in terms of difficulty and expense in the same sense.
Most smart appliances also need to connect to the Internet. If the Internet fails for any reason, these appliances may not work properly, or at all.
Many people are also concerned about plugging into the Internet for the most homely and intimate things they do at home for fear of security breaches. Imagine a hacker getting into your network and being able to monitor you prepare food, converse with family and friends, and any number of things you do behind closed doors. Most appliance makers are concerned with function, not security, so smart appliances may not have the same protection against security breaches as you would have in your laptop or phone.
As with any new thing, the first models of smart kitchen appliances are quite a bit more expensive than their non-smart counterparts are. This becomes obvious when comparison-shopping for new appliances to go into a kitchen remodel.
For example, the Family Hub smart refrigerator from Samsung that come equipped with a large touch screen, entertainment center, three internal cameras, and voice recognition software starts at $3,500. The best-rated non-smart Samsung refrigerator starts at $1,500.
Bosch has also come out with a range of smart appliances with fewer bells and whistles, from coffee machines to dishwashers. These range between $1,300 and $3,100, and most simply use IoT to do diagnostics and remotely send a message to customer service when an error occurs. This is a practical use of Iot, but hardly enough to warrant the high price tag.
Add to that the fact that technology is rapidly changing, and what may be top-of-the-line today may be all but obsolete in two years. Since most people expect major appliances to last for at least five years, this relatively rapid turnover is not acceptable.
Are smart kitchens a good idea? In concept, it is, as connected appliances can make your life a lot easier in this digital and fast-paced world. However, at the current state of the technology where improvements and bug fixes are happening all the time, it might be a good idea to postpone any major overhauling of your appliances to make them “smart.”
You should still go ahead with kitchen remodeling, however, as this is always a good idea for any old or outdated kitchen. You can make your life a lot easier now by choosing a better layout for your appliances, replacing old kitchen cabinets, letting in more natural light, and/or opening up the space. You don’t need a smart refrigerator to do that.
What you do need is a reliable contractor to carry out your kitchen remodeling, smart or non-smart. Fairfax Kitchen Bath guarantees you will love it for life. Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products, and receive it much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in fabricating countertops and backsplashes to specifications, and installing them within budget and on time.
We carry the products you need for your kitchen remodeling, from natural and engineered stone slabs, cabinets, shelves, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.
You can see the products before you buy so you can decide for yourself if the quality is what you expect. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia that houses all our products, including actual granite, marble and engineered stone slabs from which you can choose.
Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation.
Contact us today to get a free quote for your kitchen remodeling project.
I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.