The future of kitchen gadgets is a bright one, my friends. With news of a new toaster-cum-coffee-pot hybrid, we take a look at other multi-tasking products of tomorrow. Want to toast your bread on the move? There's an appliance for that. Fancy cooking up eggs, coffee and toast all in one device? A Japanese company has it covered.
Efficient, slick and ingenious, these designs promise to save space, time and money in a world that is increasingly short on each commodity. While some of these products haven't actually arrived at prototype stage yet, we still salute the creative thinking that has gone into dreaming them up and hope they hit the market soon. Until then, behold. . . the kitchen appliances of the next generation.
1. The toaster and coffee pot onesie
Created by South Korean designers Won Kang , Hyo Kang and Min Kyu, this "toaster and coffee pot all in one" hasn't actually hit the market yet - but we love the idea of it. Simply brew your preferred coffee blend and get the toast on the go at the same time, with the same appliance. It's streamline enough to satisfy even the most chaotic of non-morning people
2. The toast-coffee-egg hybrid machine
This invention from Japanese company Chuo Sangyo goes one step further by letting you cook toast, coffee and eggs all at once, with one plug-in machine. That's a one-stop breakfast at the drop of a hat. Quite how high quality the resulting breakfast is remains to be seen but it sure does save on space if you happen to live in a student-style hovel.
3. The handheld portable toaster
Imagine toasting bread on your morning train or from the comfort of your desk. OK, it may get messy but we still rather like the idea. Korean designer Been Kim came up with this electricity-powered ceramic cake knife that promises to toast your bread on the move, no matter where you are. Like a conventional toaster it takes around three minutes to properly toast over, the only setback being you have to do each side separately.
4. The roll and roll chopstick-straw-napkin ring
This is the kind of product our mum would term "whizzy", and so it is. Made by the folks over at modern industrial design company Tuvie, it's a piece of stainless steel metal that can be bent or curled into any direction. So you can curl it into a napkin holder, roll it into a straw or mould it into a chopstick. As the manufacturers point out, you can even wrap it around your wrist for better blood circulation.
5. The spice leaf book
Eliminate the need for a bulky spice rack - and always have the flavour you need to hand - with this snazzy spice leaf book. Just in the concept stage for now, the idea is that book will contain edible paper embedded with several different spices, from dried basil to chilli powder. Need to season a dish? Simply tear a page off and mix it in. Quite what people will do when they find flecks of paper in their food is not known but we salute the ingenuity of the idea.
6. The kettle that isn't a kettle
This reinvented kettle gives tea and other hot beverage lovers the chance to boil water directly in their mugs. Instead of using anything as cumbersome as a plastic kettle, this device uses state-of-the-art induction technology and is simply a magnetic metal rob placed inside a mug on top of an induction plate.
The base then creates an electromagnetic field that causes the water around the rod to heat up. Other than being a much quieter way to produce hot liquids, it produces less limescale and is much smarter at using energy. Kettles currently waste approximately 50 per cent of hot water per cup of tea.
Called Miito, the device is the creation of Nils Chudy and Jasmina Grase, who are both former students of the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands.The duo set out to redesign the kettle after realising the amount of energy that's wasted each time it is put on to boil and hailed Miito as an 'innovative product that eliminates the heating of excess water'.
Currently you can’t buy the product but they’re set to mass-produce the kettles and sell them for around £80. We reckon it would suit us to a tea. Sorry, not sorry.