Artificial intelligence in the kitchen: cooking of the future
Front doors are opened via an app, the irrigation system knows for itself when the flowers in the garden are thirsty and the alarm system can tell friend from foe: Smart living has long since become an integral part of our lives at home – and naturally doesn’t stop at our kitchens either. A creeping revolution that makes perfect sense.
Artificial intelligence enables an oven to recognize what’s inside and a dishwasher to know when more power is needed and when less: when we talk about electronic kitchen appliances, we are talking about enormous progress. “Today,” confirms Astrid Reiter, Studio Manager of the recently opened V-ZUG Studio of the renowned Swiss household appliance manufacturer, “household appliances act as partners that make everyday life easier.” And they are also stylish. “Unlike in the past, you no longer have to hide the appliances. Wine coolers, for example, are so elegant in design that they can also be integrated into the living area.”
From party to raclette program
The list of conveniences that dishwashers, ovens and the like bring with them these days is long. “But just like with a cell phone,” says Reiter, “individuality is required here.” Not everyone needs the same functions, what is important is an exciting overall offering from which everyone can choose and use what they need. For example, V-Zug offers a “party program” for dishwashers that takes just eleven minutes to clean dishes so that they can be used again straight away.
Naturally for a Swiss company, the appliance also has a raclette program that can be used to clean heavily encrusted casserole dishes, for example, without having to soak them for hours first. Reiter: “Artificial intelligence has been steadily creeping in over the last few years.”
Updates via app
The topic of sustainability has also long since arrived in the kitchen. Refrigerators today have a wide range of temperature zones to preserve the vitamins in fruit and vegetables for longer. Thanks to various formulas, steam cookers and ovens now also “know” exactly how to prepare something gently and set the exact temperature required at the touch of a button. And because technology is unstoppable, the devices, which have a warranty period of ten years, can be easily updated and brought up to date using an app, just like a smartphone. Another advantage is that appliances now also allow you to pre-set the end times, “so when guests arrive, for example, you can welcome them in peace without having to worry about something overcooking or even burning in the kitchen. The appliance sets the cooking temperature so that the food is cooked just right at the end,” says Reiter.
Technology as a partner in the kitchen
Switzerland has long been aware that artificial intelligence is a major topic. For this reason, the 110-year-old company in the Swiss canton of Zug, which has been family-owned for five generations, is creating an extensive tech cluster by 2033 that will focus intensively on the further development of household appliances. Because this is an issue for young and old. “We have both 25-year-olds and the 70+ age group at the cooking demonstrations we do in our showroom. Cooking for family and friends is back in a big way, kitchens are bigger and have become the center of the home. As a partner, technology is helping us to make this easier.” As a helping hand, so to speak, that can do more and more. “If we compare it to the cell phone again: In the beginning, we all just wanted to use it to make phone calls. Now it’s become a tool that we use to buy parking tickets, tickets, etc. It makes our lives easier, we can no longer do without it.” It’s the same in the kitchen, says Astrid Reiter.
All photos: Patrick Langwallner for V-Zug