Think about how much time you spend in your home. Then consider how much of that time you are in the kitchen: Cooking, eating, entertaining, and so on.
If your family is like many others, a substantial chunk of your time is spent here. So you’d probably want to invest in the best design and technology the marketplace has to offer.
What you may not know is that artificial intelligence — one of the most promising contemporary trends — is making its way into the kitchen. Staying up to date on the latest developments in kitchen AI will enable you to experience the shift firsthand.
AI and the kitchen: A relationship with plenty of promise
Most people are aware of what AI is, but very few have taken the time to understand the why behind it and what sort of value consumers can derive from its many new applications. The more you’re on top of this, the more you’ll understand just how much potential AI has to offer your home.
That being said, the kitchen is a very task-oriented space, primed for an AI overhaul. Mixing, pouring, storing, frying, baking, cleaning, washing, drying … there are literally thousands of actions we take in the kitchen. The general belief among experts is that AI can not only streamline all of these tasks, but it could also greatly enhance them through automation and learning.
Four ways AI may redefine the kitchen
As we speak, some of the world’s most talented designers and tech companies are working on AI solutions that will alter the kitchen and reshape what this part of the home looks like.
Let’s take a look at some of the current trends and potential developments to get a clearer picture of what’s evolving.
1. Innovation follows the money
You’d be hard-pressed to identify any facet of life where AI hasn’t made inroads, but the kitchen niche has to be one of the most promising frontiers. To a significant extent, this has to do with money.
A kitchen remodel can return anywhere between 70 to 120 percent at resale of the home. Thus, when homeowners invest in a kitchen, they often aren’t afraid to spend.
This gives companies the freedom to invest in kitchen technology without worrying too much about price sensitivity. Since innovation follows money, you can expect to see some pretty amazing products appear in the coming years.
2. Growth of smart kitchen appliances
There are lots of little ways AI operates in the background, but smart appliances and devices are the most obvious and tangible items. Major tech companies like Samsung and KitchenAid are actively involved in the process of developing smart refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, etc.
But it’s also interesting to study stand-alone devices from the smaller companies such as Hello Egg. This firm works in collaboration with the Eggspert app to help users plan meals and organize their lives in the kitchen using AI-powered solutions.
It’ll be interesting to see if devices like these continue to thrive as virtual assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home grab large shares of the market.
3. Personalized dining experiences
It’s also worth noting that AI will play an active role in commercial kitchens and restaurants. As industries focus on personalizing product offerings for customers, restaurants may be interested in using CRM applications that provide relevant recommendations and custom menus.
As developer Andrew Brust writes, “Menus could also be customized according to prior knowledge of customers’ food allergies — which would alleviate a lot of the stress some families encounter when dining out and, in so doing, likely enhance sales.”
Though we probably won’t see this in all restaurants, it could well be something that sets particular luxury dining establishments apart from their competition.
4. Smarter supply chains
Restaurants and commercial kitchens that find ways to implement AI strategically may also benefit from smarter supply chains. When ERP systems integrate with cloud-based inventory management solutions and POS systems, it’s possible for companies to predict future demand and plan accordingly.
This is something Westville, a chain of six restaurants in New York City, is already doing. “The big thing for us was to consolidate our ordering, and now we are exploring the other benefits of reporting and setting up alerts,” says Shawn Peled, director of operations at Westville.
“We can compare different months using graphs to see how purchasing changed and can check over-ordering and waste, which is a big issue for most restaurants.”
As ERP, inventory, and POS solutions improve over time, we can expect to see more restaurants adopt similar strategies to lower costs and minimize food waste. This will allow them to focus on serving the food customers want, and that will lead to greater customer satisfaction and profitability.
It’s just the beginning
We’ve only seen the proverbial tip of the iceberg at this point. Artificial intelligence applications are still very much in their infancy, but, as the technology matures and adoption rates increase, we’re apt to witness significant improvements over the coming years.
And though no one knows where we’re headed, it’s clear the future is very, very bright. You’re going to want to strap in to watch this industry explode. It’s sure to have a huge impact on the marketplace.
Larry Alton is a contributing writer at VentureBeat covering artificial intelligence.