The kitchen of the future will have a single work surface which recognises everything you put on it and has a projector above, beaming recipes ideas and cooking instructions down onto it.
Hot on the heels of the Moley cooking robot, the concept dreamt up by Ikea, Ideo and industrial design students, is a glimpse at what our kitchens could look like in 2025. The work surface knows what you are using it for and can be used as a preparation area, hob, dining table, work bench and children's play area. Sensors and a projector above know what's on the table at all times, adjusting its interface accordingly.
A concept for now, the surface can heat up anywhere you put a pan, and suggests recipes based on the ingredients you have and how long you want to spend cooking. Place ingredients on the cutting board for advice on how to prepare and cook them, with annotation showing how best to cut up vegetables, for example. Diagrams are projected onto the table to help explain how to prepare each ingredient.
The table has built-in scales to help you get the proportions right for baking, and the whole system interacts with a smartphone and tablet application containing recipes. Pouring flour into a mixing bowl sees the virtual weighing scale projected onto the table increase in real time. Similar to the 'iTunes for cooking' business plan for the Moley robot, the Ikea table concept links to an application where friends and family can share recipes with each other, which are then guided through by the table.
Pans can be added to anywhere on the table and heated individually to the right temperature, which is projected down onto their lids. Heat can also be used to gently keep your coffee warm when the table isn't being used to cook with; in this state it can also wireless charge devices like smartphones and offer an augmented playing experience for children, where drawings are lifted from paper and projected onto the wooden surface.
Ikea expects by 2025 we will have near-instantaneous food deliveries from autonomous vehicles and drones, which "means the end of the weekly shop, so we'll store less but it'll be higher quality." The kitchen of the future is described by its creators as "casual technology - unobtrusive, embedded, yet aware, helping us to save energy and food waste. Instead of a conventional fridge, the concept kitchen has an open storage system split into shelves which contain sensors and "smart induction cooling technology."
The system blends cutting edge technology with simpler ways of keeping food fresh, such as glass porcelain and terracotta containers which stay cool without requiring energy.
Of course, not of these products are actually on sale, but it gives you an interesting and plausible look at what kitchens could look in 10 years' time.