For consumers already concerned about their Echoes listening in, add two new kitchen products to the list of smart-home devices designed to monitor our doings.
From GE Appliances comes the smart kitchen hub, a 27-inch over-the-range display designed to keep home chefs plugged in to their digital and actual lives.
The unit, with its stainless steel or black slate frame, resembles the face of a microwave oven. But borrowing a page from Samsung’s Family Hub fridge, the connected display allows users to access recipes and appointment calendars, and receive over-the-air software updates.f the kitchen is the heart of the home, the range is the heart of the kitchen, says GE Appliances, making it the perfect spot for the company’s new OTR smart hub.
Unlike the refrigerator though, whose cameras are aimed inside, the GE hub’s forward-facing lens provides multiple angles for live video chat, while a cooktop-facing shooter and onboard lighting lets chefs share their culinary accomplishments on social media.
“The kitchen is the heart of the home, and the range is the heart of the kitchen,” said SmartHome Solutions VP Shawn Stover.
The device, enabled by parent company Haier Group’s U+ Smart Life platform, also allows the kitchen bound to see who’s ringing the smart doorbell without leaving the room, and to connect and communicate with other smart GE appliances, including washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, ranges and wall ovens.
A prototype of the kitchen hub was shown at CES, with an official launch set for later this year, the company said. The concept was developed by FirstBuild, GE’s crowd-sourcing platform for engineers, designers, makers and home enthusiasts.
Also keeping an eye on things is Electrolux’s forthcoming CombiSteam Pro Smart, a connected steam oven with an integrated camera that lets users monitor the progress of their dishes in real time via a mobile device. The live Wi-Fi feed can be established with a mobile app, which also allows space-age chefs to download and send recipes to the oven, and control the temperature and cook time remotely.
The smart steam oven is launching this month in Scandinavia; there’s no date yet for its U.S. debut.