Louisville, Ky. — Soon-to-be acquired GE Appliances will begin shipping this summer a freestanding range series and an over-the-range (OTR) microwave oven that can sync with one another via Bluetooth.
The new feature, called Chef Connect, will appear within GE’s step-up Profile portfolio to “create a more unified experience in the kitchen,” the majap maker said.
The pairing will work together to provide:
*Automatic stovetop lighting: When the range’s burner is turned on, the microwave’s three lights will automatically turn on from above.
*Automatic vent fan: Users also have the option of setting their vent fan to turn on automatically when the range is turned on.
*Synchronized clocks: If the time is set on the microwave, the range will automatically sync to that time and vice versa, making that nagging one-minute difference between the microwave and the range a thing of the past.
“We believe adding this technology will be a feature consumers in kitchens throughout America can appreciate,” said Heather Koyama, GE Appliances product manager. “This connectivity is really about convenience.”
Electric ranges will also offer edge-to edge cooktops with buttons instead of knobs and no silicone seal to trap grease. Gas ranges will similarly offer edge-to-edge heavy-duty grates, along with newly-designed knobs; an integrated griddle with two extra-larger burners; and a dual-purpose oval or round burner, an industry first, that can accommodate a Dutch oven.
Suggested retails will start at $1,100 for the electric version and $1,200 for gas-fueled models. Both are available in stainless steel, slate, white or black finishes and are expected to hit sales floors in August.
The microwave, which follows in September, features 2.1 cubic feet of capacity, bottom controls and an integrated handle for a seamless look. Suggested retails are $499 for stainless or slate finishes and $449 for black or white.