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Lu Jackson

Account Director

I’m completely wide-eyed, gobsmacked and downright excited about some of the new home appliance technology that’s just been unveiled at the 2012 IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.

I’m completely wide-eyed, gobsmacked and downright excited about some of the new home appliance technology that’s just been unveiled at the 2012 IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. For most of us, the word ‘technology’ conjures up images of smartphones, digital cameras and computers and not household appliances like fridges, cookers and washing machines. But we should think again. One of the most used kitchen appliances is the refrigerator. You probably open your fridge fifteen to twenty times a day, and make use of it more than any other appliance, other than your phone. So what if I told you that your fridge could let you know what’s inside it when you’re on your way home and even recommend a tasty meal for dinner? At the IFA in Berlin, Siemens showed off its upcoming connected-home technology, and the future for household appliances is truly amazing. As far as I can remember, my fridge contains a few eggs, some butter, a bit of fruit, and some nail varnish! I’ve probably forgotten a number of other items, but in a couple of years’ time, I could be the owner of a fridge that has two cameras in it and recognition software. According to Siemens, your fridge will be able to send you a list of everything inside, via an app on your smartphone, and from that list it can devise a selection of recipes. If you don’t have all the necessary ingredients, it can compile a shopping list, so you can stop off on your way home to buy these items. Back at home, complete with your shopping, you can view the recipe on your tablet. Your fingers are bound to get messy when you stuff the chicken breasts the app has suggested you cook, and, as you won’t want to dirty your tablet’s screen, just send the recipe to the motion-sensitive projector that’s installed next to your cooker, where it can be  projected down onto your work surface. The projected images are also touch-sensitive, so you can scroll through the pages on your wipe-clean worktop. And when you’re finally ready to pop the meal into the oven, the app will send the timer and temperature information to the cooker. Voila! Bon Appetit! This may sound pretty futuristic, but it’s all built on existing technology, and in the immediate future, more and more household appliances will be equipped with devices that allow them to interact with the web, become part of the Internet, and more importantly, interact with us.