By the reckoning of Jeremy Miller, Smarthome Solutions Commercial Director for GE Appliances, who presented at February’s KBIS virtual show, it is time for a “disruption” in addressing consumers’ changed needs relating to activities centered around the kitchen. And GE is aiming to fulfill those changing needs with new, improved cooking experiences that integrate high-end kitchen design with the cutting edge in appliance technologies.
He, along with Senior Merchandising Specialist Michael Earls, related, in the KBIS Connected Living Pavilion, the GE Profile perspective on what more can be done to be a part of the solution in answering the new demands – and the increased expectations – of these consumers.
Stats they shared showed that 67 percent of survey respondents reported increased oven usage by the second month of the pandemic, and 47 percent reported increased cooktop usage. And further, 51 percent predicted they would continue to cook more, even in the post-COVID period.
Part of the kitchen ecosystem discussion, Miller added, touches upon the physical space of the kitchen itself, which is evolving along with the appliances in it.
Their observations laid the groundwork for the GE Profile Virtual KBIS experience that Todd Getz, executive brand director of GE and GE Profile, stated in the company’s announcement “offers a sneak peek into how our engineers and food scientists bring our industry-first innovations from an idea to an appliance.”
The company’s products are primed for smart-kitchen-cravers; its product portfolio, which consisted of 450 Wi-Fi models last year, now numbers 600 Wi-Fi-enabled SKUs, Miller said. “Appliance interaction is part of living,” he stated, adding that the company is well armed with a full ecosystem of connected appliances to meet the demand.
Detailed in the presentation were features that represent many innovations within the Profile line – driven these days by customers’ awareness of the importance of nutrition and health planning in their food choices.
The GE Profile brand’s latest smart appliance models include a 30-inch smart slide-in front-control induction range. Here are some of its features:
• The In-Oven CookCam – a camera within the oven that allows the cook to livestream the contents of the oven to any smart device to remotely monitor the cooking process. The company says that this innovation is a building block for future enhancements that will lead to AI integrations to make ovens even “smarter” over time.
• No-Preheat Air Fry Mode – for precision, healthier, crunchier results.
• Precision Cooktop Sensor – enabling the cook to set a burner to an exact temperature through the LCD control panel via the company’s SmartHQ app – a multi-pronged platform which consolidates control, connection, personalization and management of various GE and GE Profile app-enabled appliances.
• Sous Vide-Enabled Cooktop – Works with a precision cooking probe to make possible in the home kitchen this cooking method popularized within restaurants.
And in the GE Profile line will appear an all-new version of the over-the-range Kitchen Hub, now with an integrated microwave oven, and incorporating an interactive smart screen/ventilation system, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) features. It can display recipes along with their images, and also, can scale recipe ingredient quantities when then number of servings is input, coaching the cook via voice prompts. It also calculates the nutritional value of meals and keeps that info stored in recipe favorites, sharing the data with other connected devices.