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Brave New Kitchen: From Family Hub to Smart Home Hub

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Brave New Kitchen: From Family Hub to Smart Home Hub

March 26, 2018
high-tech home camera in a smart home
Photo: Unsplash

Manufacturers of home appliances and other products, along with tech giants like Amazon and Google, are hoping to bring interconnectivity into homes, and specifically into the kitchen.

“Will we see a reinvention of the kitchen like we saw in the living room?” says podcaster and tech analyst Michael Wolf. “I don’t think it will happen overnight. There’s going to be a lot of skepticism.” The New York Times reports that just five percent of U.S. households currently own smart appliances. Yet, the kitchen is a great source of wealth for manufacturers. According to Allied Market Research, the global kitchen appliances market is expected to grow to $253.4 billion by 2020, up almost $79 billion from 2014.

To take advantage of the frequency with which these devices end up in kitchens, the companies are expanding on those products with voice-controlled smart screens. Last year, Amazon debuted Echo Show, which can load step-by-step recipes on the screen. Google this year unveiled Smart Display, a software system that it shares with manufacturers like Lenovo ... But those devices have also raised privacy questions. The screens constantly listen for voice commands, and they include cameras for placing video calls. 

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