The IoT and the future of your kitchen

Marek Gajewski

Director, Embedded Engineering

9 min read

The Internet of Things (IoT) is set to become the norm in our daily lives thanks to its vast applications: from connected cars to safer homes and smart agriculture. IoT is also going to change your kitchen. From minimizing waste to helping you cook and eating healthy, connected devices are taking the weight off of our shoulders to make the kitchen experience simpler. Let’s look at some of the benefits in detail.

The green kitchen

Reducing food waste is an uphill battle. Almost one-third of the food produced worldwide goes to waste. While there are many factors that play into food waste, there are ways that IoT can help on a case-by-case basis.

For example, sensors can be placed in your refrigerator which detect when food is about to expire. What’s more, these sensors can send you notifications when the food is coming close to expiring, thus reminding you to use it. Ovie, for example, is a product that uses universal connectors attached to products in your refrigerator. The connectors display visual cues which tell you how fresh every item is. 

Other IoT devices which can help reduce waste include connected ovens, which have been proven to reduce raw material use by up to 10%, and also reduce the use of energy by close to 28%.

Say goodbye to multitasking

We’ve all seen the movies that portray life in a professional kitchen. The speed, intensity, and the stress often carry over to your home as well. If you have to cook for a dinner party and you’re stuck doing it alone, you sometimes can feel like pulling your own hair out.

Connected devices are your new kitchen helpers. Amazon Alexa can order your groceries for you, recite recipes while you cook, and convert complicated measurements in real time so you don’t have to.

Your mobile phone is also becoming an essential part of the kitchen experience. Apps can be used to control cooking appliances such as turning them on from outside your home. If you need to start baking your roast before you leave the office, just turn on your oven from your smartphone app. Take Smarty Pans, which is a frying pan that can be controlled from an app to cook meals to perfection.

A new age of healthy eating

If you’re trying to lose weight, there’s no need to manually count your calories with a pen and paper anymore. Now our mobile phones can scan barcodes of food items and tell us how many calories they have. Also, smartphones can keep track of how many calories you eat throughout the day while linking your intake to workout plans.

Another great way to take control of your diet is Vorwerk's most successful product - the Thermomix®. The intelligent food processor in its latest version is a device that's not only multifunctional but also connected and part of a whole digital cooking ecosystem that allows users to prepare and plan their healthy menu for the whole week. Vorwerk rolled out a Cookidoo® Recipe Platform and accompanying apps that guide modern-day, busy amateur chefs through the process of planning groceries, meal preparation (on the actual device) and creating a family menu with the help of hundreds of online recipes.  

Some amazing IoT devices have found creative ways to help you control how much you eat, or how slowly. HAPIfork uses a capacitive sensor as well as a vibration motor to tell you when you are eating too much or eating too fast. Another great tool is the Smart Plate, which connects to your smartphone over WiFi or Bluetooth. Using mini cameras and weight sensors, the plate monitors how much you eat or if you are overeating.

IoT devices are making their way into every aspect of our lives. The thousands of ways that connected devices can help improve our lifestyles are increasingly becoming clear as technology advances. With these tools, the cooking experience is bound to change.

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