Is Smart Kitchen Technology Worth the High Price?

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Kitchen

Like many, many other people in the world, I recently went to the theater to see Captain America: Civil War. One of the commercials that aired before the movie was for the Samsung Family Hub™ refrigerator, starring husband and wife duo Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell.
This new appliance is just one of many smart home devices that are available for the kitchen. I’m not talking about small devices either, I’m talking about a kitchen’s flagship appliances: refrigerators, stoves, ovens, dishwashers.

Here are some of the things that these devices can do, depending on the model, of course.

Refrigerators:

  • Remote temperature monitoring and adjusting
  • Get an inside view of your contents, remotely, without opening the door
  • Store your grocery list
  • Allow you to look up recipes
  • Play music
  • Display the time and outside temperature
  • Show “notes”
  • Manage and display calendars
  • Display photos
  • Mirror other devices, like television
  • Browse the Internet
  • Sound alarm when doors are left open
  • Alert you when your filters need to be changed
  • Use motion-activation to open doors
  • See inside without opening door, using interior lights

Stove and Oven Ranges:

  • Remotely monitor your cooktop
  • Remotely turn your oven on or off
  • Remotely adjust the cook time for your dishes
  • Remotely adjust the cook temperature for your dishes

Dishwashers:

  • Remote access to monitor and manage the cycles of your device
  • Remote access to enable features, like locks
  • Track energy use
  • Get alerts for cycle status
  • Get alerts to replace accessories

While the fridge is obviously the most advanced smart kitchen device, it is interesting to watch how other big appliances are evolving. For anyone that is remodeling or just looking to upgrade, a set of these new appliances are definitely sleek, and sure to impress your friends and family.

They are, however, pretty expensive. Much more expensive than your average refrigerator, stove and oven range, and dishwasher. There are two main reasons that I am left to wonder if smart home technology is worth the price.

Appliances Aren’t Connected to Each Other

Even if you buy an entire set of brand new, connected appliances from the same brand, the appliances aren’t going to be able to connect to each other the way your other smart home devices do. While you can tell your living room light to come on every time your front door unlocks, your kitchen operates independently. It would be nice if you could use that visibility into your fridge to find a recipe that works with those items, then have your oven preheat to the needed temperature. Or, if you are using several stove burners and the oven, maybe your dishwasher reminds you to unload it, or even prefills with soap.

Smart Home Technology Advances Fast

Kitchen appliances are not like cell phones, tablets, light bulbs, or even televisions, which we tend to replace pretty frequently. A fridge, especially a smart fridge that could cost you around $5,000, is not something you want to replace every other year. So what happens when your expensive smart kitchen appliances can’t be upgrade, but smart home technology keeps rapidly changing and updating? Your shiny new toy is going to be outdated quickly, which could be very frustrating.

What do you think of the big price tags on smart kitchen appliances? Are they worth the money?

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