Take a look in the fridge from the supermarket via your smartphone to see if there is any baking butter left. Or preheat the oven on the way home. Smart kitchen appliances can be found in more and more Dutch kitchens. That seems convenient, but it is not always.
If you hope that your smart espresso machine can ensure that a fresh cup of coffee is ready for you early in the morning, you will be disappointed. A coffee machine with beans rinses itself before the first use.
The highest achievable thing you can arrange from your bed via the coffee maker app is a cup of lukewarm rinsing water. Probably not the start of the day you’re hoping for.
But those kinds of practical problems don’t stop manufacturers from making more and more kitchen appliances smart or smart. According to the Consumers’ Association, one in four kitchen appliances tested is already ‘smart’.
As a result, smart ovens, hobs, extractor hoods, dishwashers and refrigerators are now also available. With one device, those smart functions come into their own better than with the other.
For example, a smart refrigerator can still be quite useful. “For example, a camera is built into some refrigerators,” Gerard Spierenburg of the Consumers’ Association tells NU.nl. “With this you can check whether there is still butter in the supermarket via your smartphone”.
Convenient, more sustainable and prevent waste
Such a camera in your refrigerator can help you not to buy more perishable products than you really need. There are even refrigerators that can keep track of the stock and expiration dates of products.
A smart oven can also be a godsend if you’re stuck in traffic with a rumbling stomach. You can then turn on the oven and let it preheat. When you get home, all you have to do is put the pizza in and ten to fifteen minutes later you can eat.
Smart functions do not always have added value
But on a hob, extractor hood or dishwasher, for example, smart functions have less added value. For example, few people will operate their hob from the couch. In addition, the dishwasher still does not load itself.
“And how can you turn on the dishwasher at work if there is no dishwasher tablet in it yet?” Spierenburg wonders. “And if the lid isn’t closed yet, you can’t turn it on remotely.”
It also takes more effort to set the washing program via an app than via the buttons on the dishwasher itself. And yelling at a smart speaker that the extractor hood can be turned off takes more time than pressing the off button yourself.
Conclusion: for the time being mainly useful for maintenance
The handyness of smart kitchen appliances is therefore mainly in the maintenance. For example, the app of the coffee machine or extractor hood can send you a notification that cleaning or descaling is necessary. The app then helps you carry out the maintenance step by step. That saves leafing through the old-fashioned manual.
Regular cleaning and descaling will prolong the life of the device. Extractor hoods and coffee machines also use less power after a good cleaning. That is a small profit for the environment and the wallet. But despite those small tricks, smart functions in kitchen appliances are mainly a nice gimmick for the time being.
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