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Cooking in the Kitchen of 2110

Hot & Cool Trends

By Cari Martens

In the kitchen of tomorrow—100 years from now—all kitchen appliances will be wired to the Internet. Utensils will be programmed to help you cook, and dishes will be recycled right in your own kitchen. At least that’s the vision of researchers at MIT.

Illustration: Lee Woodgate/guardian.co.uk

The kitchen of the future will do most of the work for you, reports Alok Jha, writing for The Guardian. Jha describes a scenario in which you (well, not you, but someone like you a century from now) pull a random collection of ingredients from your cupboard—some vegetables, a few spices, a half bag of pasta—and pass each item in front of the webcam next to your cupboard. Moments later, a screen on your fridge displays a delicious recipe.

While you cook, your utensils let you know if you’re making the recipe properly—if you’re stirring too long, or if the temperature is too warm or too cold, etc.

After dinner you bring the plates over to a box next to the sink, which then recycles them to produce new plates for the next meal.

Your cupboard is programmed to take inventory and automatically adds items to your shopping list when supplies are low. Sensors in the kitchen keep you safe from fires or poisonings.

It’s all part of a project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called Counter Intelligence.

Despite all the latest improvements of the last couple decades, today’s kitchens ‘remain dangerous and messy places, and in a world that is increasingly vying for our attention, we are abandoning the hearth for a meal on the run.’ So reads the mission statement for the MIT project.

The statement continues: “Our goal is to reverse this trend to make the kitchen the center of family life by providing technologies that improve functionality and engage us cognitively and socially.’

Counter Intelligence has been an ongoing operation for years, helping creative engineers develop and build prototypes of advanced kitchen appliances and utensils (such as a spoon with tiny sensor to measure the temperature, acidity and viscosity of the food you’re preparing).

So while NASA is scaling back, science is working to make our kitchens more efficient and safe. Instead of focusing on Mars, we’re developing a better way to make meatloaf.

Who knows? Maybe some of these exciting kitchen advancements will be available before 2110. Like, during our lifetime would be nice. Stay tuned for further developments.

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