Last month in this space, I reviewed a series of market projections for 2014 from Harvard University as well as the industry’s leading associations.
Home Appliances and Electronics
Steam-assisted cooking is now offered in KitchenAid's 30" four burner and 36" six burner dual-fuel ranges. The ranges provide the option of using steam automatically, manually, with convection or not at all. These free-standing models require no special plumbing for installation. The range features an easy-to-fill 2-liter water reservoir near the front control panel with green, yellow and red lights to indicate water level. There are pre-programmed auto steam settings and several manual settings for cooking and warming foods.
The Integra dishwasher series with concealed controls offers a variety of class options — 300, 500 and 800. The 800 is the top of the line with the most options. SensoTronic technology checks the soil level of the water and adjusts the water level accordingly. The OptiDry system automatically adjusts the wash cycle and final rinse temperature to optimize drying. The sensor touch control panel is multifunctional, trilingual and features a full-text LCD display.
Available colors: Black, white, stainless steel and biscuit
The 72", three-door, multizone refrigerated cabinet has three separate compartments, each with its own door and temperature control. Perlick offers the option to specify the configuration of each compartment using any combination of freezer, refrigerator, freezer and/or refrigerated drawers or wine cellar. It features adjustable cantilever shelves, maintenance-free defrosting, reversible doors and door locks. The cabinet is available as a stand-alone in stainless steel or built into surrounding cabinetry.
The 30" ConnectIo stainless steel professional series, double-wall "intelligent" oven is programmed to cool, connect and cook. Using TMIO control technology, the oven can be activated remotely using a cell phone or office computer to log onto the Internet. Food placed in the oven will stay refrigerated until the remote command is given to start cooking. Includes a dynamic 3M Clear Tek touch-screen control panel for intuitive operation.
The Universal Cook 'n' Vent downdraft ventilation system features smooth, quiet movement as well as an integrated obstruction sensor for safety. At 15 inches high, the intake is positioned above the tallest pans to protect against splatters and increase efficiency in capturing steam and smoke. The system includes a three-speed electronic touch control and a delayed shut-off for unattended air cleaning. Also available is the 10" Cook 'n' Vent 2 version that integrates into the cabinetry and disappears under the counter.
The oiled bronze finish is Jenn-Air's latest alternative to stainless steel. Featuring stainless steel handles, the new finish will be available on select refrigerators, dishwashers, wall ovens, cooktops and hoods starting in mid- to late 2006.
The Affinity line of front-load laundry products features "intelligent" care systems for gentle washing and drying. TimeWise technology allows customized wash times to equal drying times for fewer trips to the laundry room.
Available colors: Glacier blue (shown), platinum ice and arctic white
This one-piece, built-in double-oven combination features both gas and electric in one Italian-styled unit. The upper electric oven offers natural convection with a fan and a broiling element. The lower gas oven offers gas broiling, electric ignition and safety devices on the oven and broiler. The vertical unit requires no support between ovens.
Overall dimensions: 24"W × 40"H × 21¼"D
The all-steel Pro-48 is the largest combination unit offered by Sub-Zero, with a storage capacity of 18.4 refrigerator cubic feet and 11.4 freezer cubic feet. The exterior digital temperature display allows for easy monitoring of temperature conditions in three separate areas — refrigerator, freezer and refrigerator drawers. The product is available with solid stainless steel doors or with a glass door on the refrigerator side.
Viking's professional induction cooktops provide instantaneous heat transfer to the cooking vessel and its contents, resulting in a cooktop surface that remains relatively cool. MagnaQuick induction elements utilize magnetic energy, which draws power only when cookware is on the element, making it 90 percent energy efficient. Available in 30" and 36" widths and black or white glass with brass trim option.
Miele's MasterChef speed oven offers the flexibility of cooking in microwave or convection baking modes or an optional program that combines the two. The flush interactive control pad is pre-programmed with hundreds of menu items. Users can also select by food type and weight. Customized cooking times can be stored or saved in the favorites program.
Available colors: Black glass or stainless steel with optional stainless steel trim kits
The lyriQ Audio System provides fingertip control for whole-house, multi-room audio. One keypad location can control the volumes of all keypads in the system. Using the On-Q Universal remote, one can make adjustments for all keypads without leaving the room. The system transmits audio, power and infrared data via one Cat 5 cable. Keypad controls are designed to match the decorator-style wall plates of On-Q Intercoms.
Home Heartbeat is a wireless, plug-and-use home awareness system to remotely monitor issues around the home. It features a home key that provides an all-in-one glimpse at the status and condition of the home, including problems such as water leaks and flooding, the status of doors and windows, and routine maintenance schedules. The system can send e-mails or text message alerts to cell phones when a problem is detected.
The StarLite lighting control system for existing homes uses wireless radio frequency technology and the home's existing electrical wiring. The unit has a range of 125 feet but can be extended to 500 feet. Programming is easy with StarLite's voice commands and intelligent system feedback. It's capable of handling up to 96 devices, 288 buttons and 100 scenes, including one-button vacation/alert and all on/all off modes.
Control4's 10.5" wireless touch screen provides portability and functionality, enabling control of any aspect of home automation at any time, from anywhere in the house. Navigational buttons allow controlled access to everything from music and television to climate control and house security. The wireless connectivity uses Wi-Fi 802.11 networking and is pre-programmed to work right out of the box. On-screen GUI guides the set-up process.
The DKEC24S digital entertainment center features a 12" LCD flip-down touch screen with a 180-degree viewing angle. The unit also features a CD/DVD player, FM radio, a waterproof wireless remote, keyboard and two stylus wands. Search the Internet or change channels by using the remote, keyboard or by touching the screen. Includes wireless or wired Internet access (ships with wired card), video and audio hookups and video monitoring capability.
The digital keypad burglar alarm lock is completely keyless with a numeric keypad that programs codes from four to six digits. It stores up to eight codes. Three incorrect code entries activates the burglar alarm and blocks the keypad for two minutes. This stand-alone wireless locking system uses four standard AA batteries with a low-voltage warning indicator and an emergency key override in case of electronic failure.
Available finishes: Stainless steel or brass
The OmniTouch with video offers a color touch-screen interface that works with the entire Omni Home Control line of products. Able to see digital video of up to six cameras, it automatically displays the front door camera when the doorbell rings and allows homeowners to let the visitor in. The responsive icons provide control of lighting, security, temperature and any other items under control of the Omni system.