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Ikea forecasts fluffy, fully teched kitchen of the future

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Thirty years from now, your kitchen will be "almost alive" and "respond actively" to your culinary needs "like only a mother could".

That's the fearsome prediction made today by that noted purveyor of plywood, Ikea, in the latest press release to make its contribution to the Silly Season in the hope of drumming up some column inches.

And since it'll all be the product of technology, we won't disappoint the company.

According to Ikea, advances in sensing and integration will mean that "LED light projections adjust to your mood - it will know if you have a hangover via sensors that will read your brainwaves. Aromatherapy infused walls will be synced to your calendar, calming you before a big meeting or energising you before a gym session. The fridge will have selected some breakfast options, identifying the essential vitamins for your day via sensors. When you get home, a hologrammed chef will be on hand for recipe inspiration."

In short, this molly-coddling kitchen won't tell you to eat up your greens because people are starving in India and you won't get any pudding if you don't. Nor will it nag you to hurry up and get off to school - or won't send you down the shops for cake and fags.

They may sound like a band of Wallander ne'er-do-wells, but Intuitiv, Elementara and Skarp are the concept kitchens cooked up by Ikea to show how the fluffy, friendly kitchen of the future might operate. Skarp will be packed with gadgetry for folk who want bright, shiny push-button sustenance, while Elementara will offer an eco-friendly alternative that harnesses technology to help the planet, man.

Intuitiv - the maternal one - simply does it all for you.

“The Intuitiv kitchen is a possible kitchen of the future with over one third of the UK population - 41 per cent - expecting that by 2040 we won’t even have to cook for ourselves,” said Carole Reddish, Ikea UK's second in command.

Since rather a lot of us don't do so in 2010, preferring instead the lure of the microwaveable ready meal or Maccy Dees, we'd say there's a good chance that, in 30 years' time, more than a few Brits will be trundling around on bellywheels like the Fatties of 2000AD's Judge Dredd series.

In which case, we certainly won't be needing Ikea's fluffy services, thank you. ®

Bootnote
Ikea's concepts come from an organisation called The Future Laboratory, which describes itself as a "brand strategy, consumer insight and trends research consultancy". Can't you just hear the whalesong?

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