IBM Smart Kitchen

by Damian

Smart Kitchen
I recently saw IBM’s Smart Kitchen that includes several items that are meant to speed up the time you spend in the kitchen while allowing you to spend more time with your family. IBM is known for making many innovative products and like most people, I am always looking at ways to save time so I was really looking forward to seeing what they had to offer. They had 3 products that they were really focusing on: a refrigerator/stove, a multimedia center for the kitchen, and a new refrigerator.

In this article I’ll solely be focusing on the refrigerator/stove, which is an actual stove that includes the functionality of a refrigerator. Basically what you do is prepare the meal ahead of time and put the food in it and turn on the fridge part. When you’re coming home you call the refrigerator/stove and it starts cooking. You can put food in overnight, go to work and while you’re driving home call up the stove, tell it “hi”, and turn the oven on to 350 degrees.

Now, I have mixed emotions about this product. I mean sure it’s great that you can start your stove while you’re headed home, but do you really need the ability to call your appliances. I mean yeah you’re saving the cooking time, but is it really saving you time? I mean while the food is in the oven there’s not a lot to do. I mean if you were at home you’d be doing something else anyway while the food was cooking. It’s not like you have to hand crank the oven.

The other thing with this gadget is the people who normally have time management issues are not really the people who are good at preplanning and preparing meals before hand.

I guess it’s good for someone that has to eat right when they get home, but that’s what an afternoon snack is for.

3 reviews or comments

Ana Says: October 1, 2008 at 1:48 am

This product definitely appears worth it and for me it is what a cook has been asking for all along. From personal experience and discussions with and observation of other cooks, I can name four benefits. First, it lowers stress on the cook by reducing the amount of time spent on a meal by allowing the possibility of meal spacing that is allowing a meal to be made in two days (preparing the meal the night before–day 1–then cooking it the next day–day 2) instead of making it all at once when everyone is typically really hungry. Second, it lets the family stay on a schedule by solely relying on the cooking time the day of the meal instead of the time it takes the make the meal (a process which often is mixed in with distractions, especially when a meal is being prepared for the first time). Third, it prevents snacking, which saves food since more is eaten from the cooked meal (something oftentimes more perishable than the snack foods). Fourth, it saves refrigerator space since, again, there are fewer leftovers and, for those who have already achieved the planning ahead formula/discipline are saved space in the fridge since that food can now spend time hibernating in the oven instead of in the fridge (where it can be smashed by others). Apparently the time-saving benefits have proven themselves in field-testing. My only questions about this appliance are 1) is it self-cleaning? and 2) can it automatically adjust to cook various meals at once that must be cooked at different temperatures and/or times? I can handle an oven without the former feature, but it might be awesome if the oven could do the latter (think Thanksgiving meals, birthday parties, and other celebrations requiring large quantities of food).

Does anyone know where I and others can purchase this product? Even if it can’t do what I ask about, this oven rocks. I want it in the house that I settle in in the future and even now I know that my mother could definitely use an oven like this.

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