There was a time when a preprogrammed start time for the oven was a big deal in kitchen technology. That was a long, long time ago.
Nowadays, you can buy a refrigerator with a hi-def TV built in above the water dispenser. Here, you can check the weather to make sure it's not too warm out for the stew you're planning to make. Attach an Internet-connected display with wireless access and display your recipe while you cook. Or watch a movie. Or record a voice message telling someone to take out the turkey at 6 p.m.
But the coolest piece of kitchen tech? It makes that voice message unnecessary, because you can control your kitchen remotely. An oven called Connect Io (intelligent oven) gives you access to all controls via Internet or cell phone. So if you're running late, you can just call your oven at six and turn it off. This has to be the most truly useful feature of the high-tech kitchens toys. The next time you're on your way to work and wonder if you left the stove on, you can just check it online and know for sure. It's an obsessive-compulsive chef's dream come true.
For lots more information on kitchen-design trends and related topics, look over the links on the next page.