Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Future Of Making Your Coffee Just Got Easier

The next time you go to make yourself a cup of coffee, you might want to give some thought to the new products that are now available, or will be available soon, to the cook in the family. What are we referring to? Well, welcome to the Intelligent Kitchen.

No longer is it good enough to set the time clock to start the slow cooker so that your roast will be done perfectly when you get back to the house. Then there is the coffee maker that you can pre-program to start up at 6:00 AM. Although those are great ideas, that's technology from the '70s. But what do you do if you are away from the house and realize that, not only did you leave your grocery list at home, but you have made no accommodations for dinner?

You could run home during a break, see what is there and/or retrieve your shopping list, and try to get back to work before it's too late. Or, you could call your 'fridge. What??? You heard me right...just call the refrigerator.

What we're talking about is not available yet, but it is coming! Soon you will be have the ability to, indeed, be able to phone your refrigerator and get a reading of exactly what you have in there. Soon, tiny ID tags will be attached to foodstuff products that will allow you read what you have and the contents sent back to your cell phone. But that's not all. You'll be able to access a database to find the perfect recipe that will utilize the ingredients you already have.

Or, you could call out for a pizza. But where's the fun in that?

This all may be in the about to be, but what about now? You've probably seen refrigerators that have built in monitors that will allow you to watch TV, check email and surf the Web while making dinner and enjoying your coffee. There's also an oven that takes the old timer/slow cooker combination and adds a refrigerator. What you do is pop the meal in the oven early in the day, set the temperature to cold and set it to start cooking at the time and temperature of your choice. For more on this and other ideas, check out

How about a scale that will give you a reading of the nutritional values in you food like protein, sodium, calories, etc.? Kind of takes the fun out of having a bunch of those little books around where you can look up the nutritional contents of foods.

Like any new products, the new existing technologies are exciting, but unfortunately they are quite expensive and out of reach for most home makers. And the new things coming will also have a heavy price tag. But like all new technology, the prices will drop soon after introduction and numerous companies begin offering them. In the meantime, fix yourself a cup of coffee and call the pizza place.

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