The centerpiece of GE Appliances' announcements at CES this year is a smart home hub and rangehood combo. Called the Kitchen Hub, it's essentially a massive touchscreen that sits above your stove bringing together control of all your smart home appliances with Google Assistant built in.
The Kitchen Hub was first revealed a year ago in prototype form, but now the system is ready for prime time, with a commercial release scheduled for May 2019. The system combines a ventilation rangehood with a 27-inch smart touchscreen. Multiple cameras are incorporated into the unit so you can both, live video chat while cooking, and utilize an overhead cooktop camera to share snaps of your dinner as a work in progress.
The system promises broad interconnectivity with other smart home products, so ideally it can function as a central hub for controlling all your connected appliances, from the home thermostat to lighting and security cameras. The incorporation of Google Assistant also adds to the device's usability, allowing for voice control when your hands are dirty from preparing dinner.
The Kitchen Hub offers access to apps such as Spotify and Netflix, meaning you can continue your latest binge without interruption while seamlessly cooking up a steak. And a partnership with mobile cooking platform SideChef integrates thousands of recipes into an integrated system that can theoretically preheat your oven to the desired recipe temperature or guide you step-by-step through a complex culinary creation.
While other touchscreen smart kitchen hubs have centered around incorporating a big screen into the face of a refrigerator, GE's rangehood Kitchen Hub is nothing if not novel. Whether or not anyone actually wants a giant touchscreen sitting right above their stove is yet to be seen, but it does seem a questionable place to put such a sensitive display. Especially considering the touchscreen doesn't seem to have any particular resistance to oil splatter or noted water resistance and your eyes will be inches from the screen when tending to whatever's cooking.
The price is not especially cheap either with GE Appliances revealing costs between $US1,199 to $1,399, depending on what kind of material finish is selected. The product's official launch is scheduled for this coming May.
Source: GE Appliances
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