IKEA imagines the mother of all kitchens

According to IKEA, the future kitchen will love you like mom. So does that mean it will nag you constantly about your health, job, and love life?

The SKARP concept kitchen with integrated sensors
This smart kitchen integrates new technologies and innovative design. IKEA

Remember when IKEA told you you were crazy to imagine a lamp had feelings? Well, it turns out that you might just have been ahead of your time. IKEA predicts that the kitchen of the future--it's set its sights on 2040--will "be so technologically advanced that it will almost be alive, responding actively to our needs like only a mother could."

A recent report on future kitchens by U.K. brand consultancy The Future Laboratory looked at social trends and drivers that will affect our home lives in the future. In response, IKEA created three concept kitchens. Intuitiv features LED light projections that adjust to your mood--dimming if you have a hangover, for instance.

A garden-centric kitchen.
Sustainable design and energy efficiency come to life (click to enlarge). IKEA

The very walls will help prepare you for your daily routine--calming you before the big presentation at work or energizing you before the marathon you're running--via aromatherapy infusions. Sensors will evaluate your health and suggest breakfast options tailored for your nutritional needs. And if you're not quite sure how to slice and dice your onions, your holographic chef will be right there to help you.

A second vision of the future focuses on sustainability and incorporates a garden as a standard kitchen extension. In the Elementara kitchen, food will be kept cool in larders--you know, like before the fridge was invented. This kitchen conception favors of natural physics over technology and reduces or eliminates energy consumption at every step.

The report also features Skarp, a kitchen that uses smart technology to predict needs. Self-cleaning surfaces, automatic recycling, carbon emissions control, and other innovations will all be managed via voice and iPad-style devices.

Research by The Future Laboratory was commissioned by IKEA and carried out in June. So, which kitchen are you most hoping for?

A dining room table and dimmed lighting
The emotionally intelligent kitchen would respond to and enhance the health and well-being of its inhabitants. IKEA

About the author

    Abbi Perets has been writing about technology and family and consumer issues for over ten years. Her work has been featured in print and on the Web, and she has taught courses on consumer and business electronics for HP, Sony, AOL, and other companies. Abbi has also written extensively about business technology for Tech Republic, Gantthead, and other tech sites. Abbi's passion for home appliances stems from the kitchen remodel she managed in her new home in Houston, TX where she lives with her husband and four children.


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