From ancient stone tools to hand-powered egg beaters to pressure cookers, it's amazing to see how far we've come in the time-honored ritual of making food. Last fall, we wrote about smart oven technology cropping up in home kitchens thanks to brands like Wolf and Miele, by way of wifi and computerized settings. Input some simple data about your ingredients and desired outcome, and like magic, the oven intuits the rest. With this kind of gadgetry a reality, one has to wonder: what if other cooking tools could perform similarly "smart" tasks — like knives?
"Smart Knife," a conceptual design by Jeon Chang dae of Korea, features blades that would indicate the nutritional value of whatever they slice, as well as enhance that food's capacity for freshness by infusing it with ethylene gas-blocking negative ions. The knife was dae's submission to the Electrolux Design Lab last year, an annual competition hosted by the brand to seek out innovative product designs from around the world. Although it wasn't one of the finalists — and the Robocop-like looks of the product itself leave something to be desired — the knife addresses two important issues that we're constantly facing, both at home as well as at restaurant kitchens of late: nutrition and food waste.
Instead of deferring to smart phone apps or websites for caloric values and the nutrional breakdowns of your nightly menu's ingredients, what if your knife instantly displayed it on its blades? Similarly, slicing up the vegetables and produce for a massive salad that will actually stay fresh enough to last you through a week's worth of lunches? Revolutionary. Of course this remains but an idea, but unlike appliances that take away from the skill of cooking, which isn't always such a good thing (any decent cook should be able to tell when a chicken is done roasting), this kind of innovation actually facilitates your ability to cook more knowledgeably and healthfully — which is really something to strive for in the future.
What other kinds of "smart" kitchen gadgets are waiting in store for us?