Home Toys Article
- June 2005 -
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Here's a few product ideas to make your kitchen smarter and more efficient.
Steve does gadget segments for several newscasts around the country and is in the process of developing a syndicated innovative products segment called Smart Stuff. If you would like television coverage on your product during the CEDIA show, please contact Colleen Lee at DWJ Television at #860-346-3137 or firstname.lastname@example.org for all details.
THIS BABY COOKS
Every year technology takes another step forward in its attempt to cook the perfect turkey. Fire did the trick, but it was hard to control and took too long. Microwaves cooked a bird fast but the taste just wasn't there. Now GE has launched their Trivection Oven. It speed-cooks foods with a combination of thermal, convection, and microwave methods. So with the Trivection Oven you can roast a turkey in half the normal time or bake potatoes in about a fifth of the traditional time. Best of all you don't need new recipes. The Trivection Oven's controls automatically convert conventional oven temps and cooking times to the perfect Trivection settings. All you do is enter the food type with the traditional cooking time, and temperature. The oven does the rest. Now if we can teach the oven to referee family fights at the dinner table, it would be perfect. The estimated cost of a GE Oven with Trivection Technology starts at about $2300. For more information go to: www.GEConsumerProducts.com.
FROM THEIR HOOD TO YOURS
I once heard that people judge a man not by his clothes but by the shoes he wears. I don't know if that's true, but in the world of kitchen snobbery, your range hood is very important. You can have the most impressive stove and if the vent over that stove is crummy it casts an embarrassing shadow over your range and your kitchen. When you see a Beverly Hills kitchen showcased in a magazine you usually see a commercial grade/high volume stainless steel range hood. It's the same range vent you might see in a restaurant kitchen. Many of them are made by Vent-A-Hood. This year the company introduced a new line of hoods which offers the high-quality performance of their custom hood, but with a six-inch outlet for standard home construction to go over the standard four-burner stove found in most middle-income American kitchens. The new line is called the "Emerald VI" series and it brings the sophistication of a high-end range hood to the masses. So now with the right hood venting odors, you can hold your head up high and your kitchen won't stink. For more about Vent-A-Hood visit www.ventahood.com.
LET'S MIX THINGS UP
I remember when a blender had just three settings, off, low, and high. It was a simpler time. With the invention of espresso makers and silent dishwashers, blender's felt left out of the tech boom. To compensate ordinary blenders added lots of different speed settings. If you wanted to use a blender you had so many options; you could puree, chop, dice, pulverize, and so much more. The options kept growing from 16 speeds to 26 speeds. You would think the additional options would make blending easier and all it did was make this convenience, a little less convenient. Oster has come up with a solution. They have developed the In2itive Blender. This blender "intuitively" knows what to do. No speed options, no speed choices. You simply pick what you want to make from a touch pad (such as frozen drinks, salsa, sauces, etc.) and press start. The blender knows exactly what setting, speed and length of time to blend the items. Simpler times are here again. The In2itive Blender costs about $100 and if you want more info call 800 334-0759 or visit www.oster.com.
PAUSE FOR A CAUSE
You are about to fill up your watering can from the kitchen sink. You have the can in one hand and the pull out faucet with the other hand. Now to turn on the water, you have to juggle the faucet into the hand holding the can while you reach back to the sink to turn the lever. If the juggle doesn't work, you have water all over your countertop or floor. What's the point of those extendable gooseneck faucets if you can't turn them on and off from the extended end? I guess the folks at Moen asked the same question. That' must be why they came out with the Aberdeen faucet. It is a high-arc faucet that has a pull down handle to fill pots, vases, plants or anything else outside of the sink. It's unique because it has a one-of-a-kind pause button right on the spout to interrupt the water flow while you pass over the counter. Your counter stays dry and you control the water flow. A pause button, why didn't I think of that? The Aberdeen faucet starts about $300 and if you want more information go to www.moen.com.
SPACE, THE FINAL FRONTIER
For most of us, there's no real estate as valuable as the space on your kitchen countertop. Each of us must decide which appliances are worthy enough to sit on the countertop and which ones are used so rarely that they relegated to storage under the sink (usually next to the bread maker).
Here are two space saving solutions:
Samsung has a 3-in-1 kitchen appliance that combines a four-piece toaster oven, a 1,800-watt grill, and a 1.0-cubic-foot microwave oven. All three functions are controlled using touch pads on the front panel. This Toast & Bake Microwave Oven has a ceramic enamel interior for easy cleaning and a pull-down door handle for oven-like access. This combo appliance has all the bells and whistles that you would expect from each separate appliance, just combined into one space-saving box. Your counter will be so happy. The price tag on this Toast & Bake Microwave Oven is about $180 and if you want more information you can call 1-800-SAMSUNG or go to www.samsungusa.com.
Now there's no doubt that combo appliances save valuable counter space. But how about a kitchen appliance that doesn't use ANY countertop space. Impossible, think again. Audiovox has a whole line of undercabinet TV DVD players. These products are mounted under your kitchen cabinets and the monitors can be pulled down when needed. No countertop space is used. Audiovox's newest space saver is their VE1020. It has a 10.2-inch LCD which can be viewed while attached to the unit or it can be detached and used on the countertop. Besides watching TV, there's also a built-in DVD/CD/MP3 player, an alarm clock and an AM/FM stereo radio. It's also a hands-free speakerphone and it has a 2-minute memo record function. With this product, who needs to cook? This undercabinet TV DVD costs about $800 and if you want more information go to www.audiovox.com.
If you are not intimidated by smart appliances, you'll like this oven. It's Miele's MasterChef. It is the world's first programmable oven. It can store more than 30 customized cooking programs of your favorite recipes. So if you can't remember how to bake grandma's apple pie, this oven can remember. In addition, Miele's unique MasterChef has pre-programmed cooking instructions for many food favorites. So, for example, if you want to make a turkey, just click on poultry, scroll down to turkey and the oven knows how to take it from there. The MasterChef automatically chooses the correct temperature and cooking time. Besides being so smart, the MasterChef has a sleek clean design. Beauty, brains and it knows how to cook, this oven could break up many marriages. The MasterChef starts at about $2300, if you want more information call 888-346-4353 or visit: www.miele.com.
ALL THE FOOD THATS FIT TO MAKE
Not sure how to make vegetarian corn crepes? Can't find your recipe for banana croque-monsieur? You're not alone, it happens to the best chefs. Sometimes you just can't find that certain recipe. You can pull down all of your cookbooks or you can reach for The New York Times Electronic Recipe Master. It's about the size of a calculator and it's jam packed with recipes taken from the pages of The New York Times. Whether you're looking for appetizers, soups, salads, condiments, main courses or desserts, this palm-sized electronic brain gives you the ingredients and step-by-step directions. Now you can whip up pan-roasted filet mignon with just a push of a button. The Recipe Master costs about $50 and if you want more information go to www.excaliburelectronics.com.
WATTS KILLING YOU?
Ever wonder if that old refrigerator is eating you out of house and home? What about your 1980's air conditioner, is it using up your cold cash? If you want to know if your appliances are efficient, you'll want this Kill A Watt appliance efficiency tester. All you do is connect your appliance into the Kill A Watt™ and a large LCD display counts power consumption by the Kilowatt-hour just like the utility companies. With various options on the Kill A Watt, you can figure out your electrical expenses by the hour, day, week, month, even an entire year. Monitor the quality of your power by displaying Voltage, Line Frequency, and Power Factor. After evaluating your appliances with the Kill-A-Watt, you'll finally know if its time to put your refrigerator on ice or pull the plug on your A/C. Price ???? For more information go to: www.p3international.com
Steve Greenberg, "The Innovation Insider," can be seen on The Daily Buzz, Fox & Friends and other national talk shows. Steve does gadget segments for several newscasts around the country and is in the process of developing a syndicated innovative products segment called Smart Stuff. In addition to television and HomeToys.com, Steve writes for several magazines always covering smart products for smart consumers. The "Innovation Insider" can be reached at email@example.com or www.stevegreenbergtv.com