Get Connected


Today’s kitchens are more intelligent than ever with large and small appliances that can be operated by an app and even ‘talk’ to each other. Combined with the current trend for the Internet of Things, our homes are practically running themselves…

Last month I was lucky enough to be invited to the Royal Institution in London to try out Tefal’s new connected products. We started with the Cook4Me Connect, a one-pot wonder that can be controlled from your smartphone or tablet. Our task was to cook a prawn risotto and with all the ingredients beautifully measured and laid out for us, we simply followed the step-by-step instructions on an iPad. It was so simple and dare I say, even foolproof. This electric pressure cooker did everything from browning the prawns to steaming the risotto rice and there was no need to stand and stir for ages, like you would normally do with this dish. What’s especially useful is the fact that the Cook4Me Connect also has a Bluetooth function, so you can leave it to cook while you get on with other things. Just take your phone with you and it will tell you when dinner’s ready. Other features on the app are that it allows you to personalise the pre-programmed recipes, comment on your favourites and suggest alterations and enhancements, as well as share recipes with friends and update your shopping list. It’s available at Amazon and Currys, priced £299.99. And if you were wondering, the risotto was absolutely delicious!

1a) Tefal

1b) Tefal

1c) Tefal

The next new appliance to try out was the ActiFry Smart XL, which is also controlled via Bluetooth and has a dedicated app. As well as a patented heat pulse system and rotating stirring paddle, the new smart technology automatically adjusts the temperature, time and stirring motions according to your chosen meal. After selecting a chicken recipe, the app told us when and where to place the different ingredients. Again, you can keep tabs on it from anywhere in the house with your phone or tablet and there’s an automatic stop function too. This one’s also £299.99.

2) Tefal

Hoover meanwhile has announced a new generation of One Touch washing machines that feature an intelligent connection system using NFC (Near Field Communication) technology and an innovative app. NFC enables a contactless communication between the app and the One Touch washer via wireless data transfer. With no Internet connection or complicated installation required, set up is quick and easy. Once you’ve downloaded the app, simply tap your mobile on the machine to connect. “Moving forwards, all of our new washing machines will feature One Touch technology, which will make doing the laundry simpler than ever before,” says Steve Macdonald, marketing director. “As well as being able to operate the appliance via a phone within close proximity to the machine, users will also be able to monitor energy consumption, keep an eye on programme running times, save most frequently used cycles and have instant access to the instruction manual.”

3a) Hoover

3b) Hoover

According to Whirlpool, there are over 10 billion things connected to the Internet and this ever-increasing Internet of Things grows every minute. They say that future consumers will continue to expect a great deal from their appliances, not only to be frugal with energy and with outstanding performance and results, but also to be easy and intuitive to use as well as saving time and effort. With this in mind, the brand has developed a concept kitchen to demonstrate where we might be in the near future. The Whirlpool Interactive Kitchen of the Future concept features an interactive splashback and cooktop that connects the consumer to their social networks, favourite websites and recipes for meal and guest planning. It will have a personalised touch screen, which facilitates live chats with family members for secret recipe tips, and even offers wine recommendations for your chosen meal. The future hob will list ingredients needed and tell you where to place each pan. The shape of things to come? Watch this space…

4) Whirlpool

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About Hayley Gilbert

Hayley Gilbert is a freelance interiors journalist with 20 years’ experience in the industry. Specialising in all things kitchens, Hayley has contributed to a wide range of consumer titles such as Beautiful Kitchens, EKBB, KBB, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and Ideal Home, as well as national newspapers including The Sunday Times.... @HaylGilbert /

  Email:  Hayley Gilbert


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