MWC may have been cancelled (opens in new tab), but thankfully The Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Awards went off this year without a hitch. Known as the launchpad of brilliant new home design and technology, this year's event was no exception. We recently revealed that people of all ages (opens in new tab) are making the most of smart home technology, and it seems that trend isn't slowing down any time soon, with voice assistants now able to control your faucets and intelligent wine coolers automatically detecting your wine's key features (and storing it accordingly).
We've already rounded up the 5 new technologies (opens in new tab) that’ll make your cleaning routine smarter this year, and now it's your kitchen's turn. From top-loading sink dishwashers to classy craft ice refrigerators, there's a lot to be excited about.
1. Smart faucets
With LG and Samsung engineering smart-home compatible refrigerators and washers, it was only a matter of time until someone created smart faucets. The U by Moen (opens in new tab) Smart Faucet won the KBIS award in smart home technology, and we can see why. Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, users can ask their faucet to dispense water of a specific temperature or amount, or even combine these two functions. You’ll be asking your Alexa to pour you a cup of 85-degree water before you know it.
The U by Moen also comes with wave controls, meaning you won’t have to touch manual controls with dirty hands before washing them. Great for hygiene, and also pretty fun. The product launched recently, and pricing starts at $430.
2. Top-loading sink dishwashers
Fotile is adding a new twist to the crockery-cleaning scene, challenging the current crop of best dishwashers, by introducing an ultra space-saving and water-efficient in-counter dishwasher. We think that having a top-loading mini dishwasher adjacent to your sink for small loads (or small households) makes complete sense. After all, that’s where the dishes would pile up anyway, right? This setup also features a fruit and veg cleaner - you just need to place your fresh produce in the compartment and ionization technology removes 90% of the pesticides from your food.
Perfect for a two-person household and with a cycle running just 30 minutes, the Fotile sink dishwasher combo uses just 1.6 gallons per load, compared to 6 gallons for a standard dishwasher and 4 gallons for an Energy Star-rated model. The Fotile is on the market now, but you'll have to find a dealer (opens in new tab) if you want to get your hands on it.
3. Craft ice refrigerators
LG already makes some of the best home appliances out there - we even declared door-in-door, instaview model LG LSXC22396D (opens in new tab) the 'future of refrigerators' in our best side-by-side refrigerators (opens in new tab) rankings. With new developments in its ice machines, the future is definitely closer. LG refrigerators can now make clear 2-inch diameter ice spheres and store up to 25 at a time. These ice balls melt more slowly than regular ice and are a popular and stylish choice to pair with scotch, whiskey or cocktails.
As well as dispensing regular crushed and cubed ice, the LG also makes batches of two craft ice balls at a time which are automatically stored in the freezer. Perfect for entertaining, or simply treating yourself. These refrigerators are out now, and they'll cost you about $3000.
4. Plum, the motorized wine dispenser
Done poorly, a wine dispenser would seem gimmicky. Fortunately, Plum is the real deal, winning this year’s KBIS Gold Award for kitchens. Plum’s motorized needle pierces your unopened bottle, preserving your wine with argon gas. You can put up to two bottles in the dispenser at any one time, and it will automatically detect the wine you’ve chosen with an integrated HD camera which scans the label, region, winery and vintage. Shaking up the best wine coolers (opens in new tab) game, Plum's silent cooling will keep your wine chilled to the appropriate level, and with a different chamber to keep your red away from your white, you won’t need to compromise. A smart sensor will light up when you approach your Plum, and displays the label of your wine on the touch-screen control panel. This lets you pour custom servings directly from the bottle to your glass.
We also saw smart wine coolers at this year's CES (opens in new tab), such as Matrix's new ultra-fast wine cooler, Juno. A great (and cheaper) alternative. Plum is out now, for an eye-watering $2499.
5. Delta glass rinser
There’s nothing more infuriating to clean than tall glasses, champagne flutes or narrow glassware, but those of us who’ve worked in bars will know there’s a way around cleaning these tricky glasses in the shape of a glass rinser. This technology operates by pressing the rim of the glass into a spring-loaded pad, which will release a jet of high-powered water to blast away any hard-to-reach grime at the bottom of your glass. Thanks to Delta (opens in new tab), you can now bring this technology to your home with a neat and compact glass rinser which sits just at the side of your sink. You can hook it up to the space where a soap dispenser would usually go, which means most kitchens will already have an ideal space for it.
According to Delta, simply adding a drop of detergent will work miracles on the most hard-to-reach spaces. This product is out now, and you can grab it for as little as $100.