As we prepare to head down to Stockholm to see what Electrolux’s plans for our future homes and kitchens are, here’s what we know. Considered one of the biggest names in home appliances, Electrolux has, for long, had an approach that is best described as design-forward. As an organizer of the Electrolux Design Lab, a competition that encouraged innovative designers to help Electrolux envision the future of home technology, the company has always had an affinity for conceptual designs that push boundaries, resulting in products that have redefined categories. We got a look at how Electrolux redefined home and kitchen appliances with their showcase at IFA 2018 (under their German sub-brand AEG), with everything from ovens you could control with your voice, induction plates that could turn off when your food’s cooked, and some of the most incredible design details one could imagine in a refrigerator.
Electrolux’s 2019 showcase in Stockholm aims at solidifying its place in every house and kitchen, with products that combine remarkable tech with remarkable usability. Their Intuit range of kitchenware aims at bridging the gap between artificial intelligence and expert cooking. This bridge allows users to rely on AI to assist in meal preparation. The all-knowing AI helps with multitasking, knowing and optimizing cooking processes for taste, and even guiding the user through the process of meal preparation and cooking. Electrolux’s Intuit Range comprises a series of smart-kitchen appliances, featuring the SteamPro oven that’s capable of cooking with steam (an essential for baking soft, delicious bread) as well as performing sous-vide operations to sheer perfection. The oven is even designed to work with Google Assistant, allowing you to simply tell the oven to preheat itself before you use it. Voice commands allow the AI to perfectly execute tasks without having the user to interact with a complex, feature-filled interface. Electrolux’s CookView oven allows you to take your confectionery skills to the next level by remotely viewing what’s happening inside your oven using the oven’s inbuilt camera that lets you keep an eye on your food on a mobile device, even while not in the kitchen.
The SensePro induction hob also forms an integral part of Electrolux’s vision for the future, with a wireless food thermometer that actively tells the induction plate when to increase/decrease the temperature, or when to switch off the stove completely. Imagine never undercooking or overcooking your meat ever again, because the stove ‘keeps an eye on itself for you’. That’s exactly how smart the SensePro aims at being.
The SensePro induction plate even pairs with Electrolux’s Hob2Hood chimney that can intuitively switch on or off depending on what the induction hob tells it. The hob comes with a feature that allows it to distinguish between boiling, steaming, roasting, frying, grilling, and other tasks, giving it the ability to know when to power the hood and clear the kitchen of smoke or smell.
Forming an integral part of Electrolux’s intuitive kitchen is its refrigerator, resplendent with rotating shelves that make sure you don’t forget about stuff kept in the back of the fridge, along with modular containers to mount on the fridge’s door, detachable trays that you can carry to your kitchen counter, and the new UltraFresh+ fridge-freezer that keeps ingredients fresh for longer by offering smart temperature and humidity adjusting capabilities to preserve perishables for longer.
We’re especially excited to see the iF 2019 Award winning ComfortLift dishwasher, that sits on the ground level, but utilizes a clever mechanism to allow the door to open upwards, lifting the trays to an optimal height so you can load and unload the dishwasher without bending down. Using their technical prowess as well as their knack for problem-solving, Electrolux’s products are functional in many ways, offering ease-of-use as well as having a keen eye for small interaction problems that we’ve lived with for years, be it something as taxing as bending down to load or unload the dishwasher, or as critical as leaving the oven on for too long and burning your food to a crisp. We’re headed to Stockholm not to just see Electrolux’s latest products, but to actually use them too. I mean, who wouldn’t want to bake bread with their voice?!
Dominos may have its 30 minutes or less challenge, but imagine getting the perfect pizza pie, fresh out of the oven, in 2 minutes…
That’s the Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo’s promise. Designed to perfectly mimic the heating conditions required for a brick oven, Breville’s Pizzaiolo does all that in a tenth of the space, and right on your kitchen countertop. the Pizzaiolo is a one-of-a-kind device that, in its small frame, can reach temperatures of 750°F and cook perfect wood-fired-style pizzas in just about 2 minutes. Made with brushed stainless steel, this oven is able to replicate the conductive, radiant, and convective heat generated by a brick oven. It features an ‘Element IQ System’ that can replicate the ideal baking environment for different pizza styles (practically everything from New York to frozen pizzas). The natural cordierite stone base provides the perfect heated surface for those crispy, yet melt-in-mouth crusts, and the advanced heating system can cook an entire pizza from scratch in just two minutes. Even instant ramen takes more time!
Arguably an iPhone moment for toasters, the Bruno isn’t three separate appliances, but rather a 3-in-1. Looking nothing like a toaster, or an oven, and probably a little like a grill, the Bruno replaces three appliances with one, and adds a splash of vibrancy and color while doing so.
The Bruno comes as a clamshell appliance with a lid that hinges back when you open it. With heating coils on the base as well as the lid, you can use the Bruno just like an oven (except this opens differently) by even choosing which heating plate you want to activate. A grill plate sits at the middle, holding your meats or vegetables on it as you grill them just like you would on a barbecue grill. Open the lid, fire the lower coil, and you’ve got yourself an impromptu grill that works well with all sorts of food. Close the lid and activate both heating coils and you’ve got a toaster that toasts breads kept horizontally! The Bruno also comes with a removable crumb-tray that makes it easy to keep your 3-in-1 appliance in tip top shape. Choose between a classic white or a snazzy red to spice up your kitchen!
No, this isn’t some twist on the sexist “Go make me a sandwich” statement, because you can now, quite literally tell Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa, to make you some popcorn.
Launched at Amazon’s surprise hardware event last week, the Amazon Basics Microwave does two things. As a part of Amazon’s Basics series, it provides a reliable, competitively priced product that’s backed by Amazon’s brand name. It also comes with a dedicated Alexa button, making it probably the first microwave to be powered by Amazon’s AI voice assistant.
Microwaves have, over the years, grown incredibly complicated with a variety of functions that confuse people more than empower them. There’s a separate setting for grilling, for defrosting, etc… and even with these features, a majority of microwave users use the appliance primarily for re-heating food, popping corn, or to cut down on the cooking time of something. Either way, it amounts to just estimating the amount of time the oven needs to run for and the power setting. With Alexa, that estimation gets taken out of the equation as the microwave oven now does the guess-work for you. All you need to do is tell Alexa what to do in the most natural terms, and the advanced AI assistant gets to work, acting on commands like “Alexa microwave popcorn” or “Alexa reheat my rice/vegetables”. Being able to distinguish between food-types now becomes the appliance’s job, and it does so spectacularly. It’ll apply the correct heat setting for microwaving popcorn, versus cooking broccoli, or heating up your coffee, or even baking a mug cake. The microwave does also come with traditional controls, if you’re the technologically independent kind, but I must admit, there’s a certain sense of accomplishment in getting your microwave to cook your food for you by just talking to it!
Click Here to Pre-Order (Available on 14th November 2018)
Click Here to Pre-Order (Available on 14th November 2018)
The thought may seem inconsequential at the very beginning, but talking to your kitchen appliances can help take a lot of the stress out of cooking… and Electrolux and Google are partnering together to let you do just that. The collaboration between the two companies, and the debut of Electrolux’s Combi-Steam ProSmart Oven lets you literally control the oven via voice. Relying on Google’s Home smart speaker and the ‘OK Google’ command, users can tell the oven to switch on or off, select programs, set timers, and even alter temperatures.
Talking to your oven isn’t just a benefit when you’ve got messy hands, or you’re occupied with other cooking, it helps take the guesswork out of the baking process. Simply telling your oven (via the Google Home) that you’d like to prepare pizza, or probably grill vegetables, or bake some bread allows the oven to automatically know which temperature to operate at, as well as what to put on the timer. You can even add or subtract a few degrees, or add or shave off a minute or two from the timer by simply telling the oven to do so… and when your food’s ready but the family isn’t, tell the oven to keep the dish warm, and it automatically sets the temperature to 80°C, keeping your food piping hot, without cooking it further.
Electrolux and Google are even enabling IFTTT integration to allow other devices to connect to the Google Home, letting you shoot text messages out to family members when dinner’s prepared, or blinking the lights in the living room when the pizza’s ready to pull out of the oven… and then as everybody gathers at the table to dig into a perfectly cooked meal, just tell Google to shut the oven down, and that’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about!
Designers: Electrolux & Google.