When 1950s dreamers were thinking of the home of the future, quite a few of them thought we’d have height-adjustable furniture by now. Not only do we grow (and shrink) as we age, but couples living in the same house can have several inches of height difference between them. It just makes sense that our counters and sinks should be able to accommodate the tall and the small.
The winner of this year’s Smart Kitchen Summit Startup Cookoff was Tielsa, a German company that makes a “connected kitchen.” Using your iPhone, you can raise and lower the modular pieces until they fit your height. There are also buttons integrated into them, so you don’t have to fumble for your phone every time. Press the cupboards, and the doors open sort of like a DeLorean’s.
To make it truly connected and smart, though the company is working on integrating it with other products filled with sensors and appliances. Ideally, you’d be able to play music on demand, get warnings when something is burning (or when your food is about to burn), and also have safety features built in — like a floor that sends an alert to paramedics if you fall and seriously injure yourself.
Right now, Tielsa, which has only been installing kitchens for 16 months, isn’t collecting data on its users, but it does have an eye on using some of the metrics to learn how its users are interacting with the kitchen. Plus, its partners — including Bosch, Intel, Philips, and Miele — would likely be interested in that information, too.
The company is definitely going after the premium and designer market, so the tech doesn’t come cheap. At the Summit, Tielsa’s CEO Christian Hartmann Gruber said the kitchens start at $8,000 and are sold through specialty retailers where the salesperson are trained in the products.
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