From Forbes magazine:
Fifteen years ago, you needn’t look further than the ice cube-maker on the door of your Whirlpool refrigerator to find innovation. But these days, we expect a bit more than crushed ice when it comes to high-end, high-tech gadgets.
And we’re not afraid to spend on these domestic devices. Consumers worldwide forked over $301 billion on housewares in 2005, and $72.6 billion of that was in the U.S., according to the most recent data compiled by the International Housewares Association.
The latest innovations include a motion-sensing trashcan and a wall-mounted fish tank that’s only 4.2 inches thick and computer-controlled to sense oxygen flow or when water needs changing.
They join a cadre of housewares built to accommodate the consumer who wants user-friendly, time-saving appliances in every room in the home.
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The Turbo Chef Speedcook Oven, for example, cooks meals 15 times faster than conventional stoves. Unlike your run-of-the-mill microwave, a Turbo Chef-prepared roast is just as well cooked, and sometimes even better than that of a standard oven, the company says. The oven, currently used only in restaurants, will be available to consumers in April.
Steve Beshara, chief branding officer of TurboChef Technologies, says everyday entertainers were hungry for the Turbo Chef for three reasons: performance, design and, of course, efficiency.
“[It] essentially empowers the home cook to be the cook they want to be,” he says. “Time has become the world’s most precious commodity and we’re trying to help busy people enjoy healthier, tastier meals with an efficient, ergonomically designed tool.”
Other time savers abound.
Consider HomeRight’s Velocity Waxer. This cordless contraption allows you to buff and wax your car, truck or yacht in 30 minutes flat.
Or check out Bialetti Thermovisual Cookware, which debuted this week at the 2007 International Home and Housewares Show and will be available later this year. When the line of pots and pans are ready for cooking, they literally say just that, right on the side of each piece. Now, you can spend your time slicing and dicing instead of watching a pot that appears to never boil.
Of course design is also a factor. The Espressione Nuvola Professional Pod Espresso Machine is not only simple to use, it’s lovely to look at. The dry steam makes concocting a milky espresso drink easy as pie, but it’s Espressione’s knack for designing an artful product that distinguishes itself from competitors.
The combination of well thought out constructs and stunning styles has also worked for Simplehuman, a trashcan company that released its the aforementioned garbage pail, boasting a sensor device that’s recessed so to prevent false triggers.
Beauty aside, Gary Grossman, president of Innovations and Developments, a marketing, advertising and industrial design firm that advises companies on what satisfies today’s consumer, says that above all, Americans are in love with ease.
“It all points back to convenience,” he says.