In our tiny-home obsession, we’ve discovered a few things: A key element to living in a space that seems too small is simply condensing everything you thought you needed. So we’re excited that a major company like General Electric (GE) is experimenting with turning typically large appliances into something suitable for a small house. The company’s microkitchen concept is really promising.
It’s just a concept, for now. But it wonderfully condenses all of your kitchen appliances into one unit, with miniature, or multi-purpose, versions of every appliance. So you can expect a fridge, freezer, sink, stovetop, oven, microwave, dishwasher, and prep space packed into a unit the size of a credenza. That’s done in part by shrinking: The fridge and freezer aren’t full-size, but they are indeed high-tech in that they’re digitally adjustable with a touchscreen control panel. (Livealoners will tell you that a full-sized fridge and freezer aren’t necessary, anyway.)
One touch-sensitive display, which resembles a smartphone mounted on the unit, controls everything–from oven to microwave and from dishwasher to fridge temperature. The sink’s faucet (the touch control lets you adjust the volume and temperature of the water) seamlessly folds back into the main wall of the unit. It’s as if the sink never existed–but it’s easy to pull out if you need it. Importantly, when the faucet isn’t there, it’s a lot easier to chop vegetables on the unit’s cutting board, which precision-fits into the sink.
Instead of gas or electric burners, there’s an induction range, which looks like a nice, clean sheet of paper. (With induction, you can place a compatible pot–say, cast iron or stainless steel, both of which conduct electricity well–anywhere on the induction area, and the actual area doesn’t get hot. Meanwhile, the electric current gets converted to heat and cooks your stuff.)
So far, this is just a concept; GE has a new factory in Kentucky that’s being used to create new experimental things, including products from civilians who submit them. There are no immediate plans to create this microkitchen, but we hope they do!