Posted in Computered Design Programs, Home Automation, Kitchen Automation, Kitchens of the Future, Luxury Kitchens, Men in the Kitchen

The Future of Sourcing Product Materials

I am lucky to have great friends who share really cool ideas with me. This one came from my K & B designer pal Kathy Phillipson who shared this web link, The future of shopping, from Flixxy.com.

In this video, software designed by Cisco,  shows a virtual clothes shopping experience. But can you imagine the possibilities in the Kitchen and Bath Industry? Download a photo or import a new computer rendering of your kitchen or bath, and watch the virtual remodel begin. Imagine viewing a photograph or computerized rendered view with the actual materials for the project in a life like virtual image? Preview tile patterns and layouts, cabinets, paint, appliances in kitchen and bath layouts. This would be so very cool and handy in many ways.

Designer’s would save themselves from scraped knees and sore backs lugging huge tile samples back and forth from store to showroom to job site. Manufacturers could place their virtual product catalog in front of more consumers and update it electronically with ease. Imagine the possibilities. Imagine downloading the newest stain color or door style from your cabinet manufacturer instantly instead of waiting two weeks or more for a sample. Of course actual samples are absolutely necessary before making a decision, but with the power of virtual shopping, this would be an awesome tool to help your client visualize the materials in place in their kitchen or bath remodel. Seeing it in life size views beats a small screen computer monitor any day. It is a known fact many consumers share the same problem in trying to visualize what their kitchen will look like. You can show your client a sample tile or a swatch but with software like this, you can show your client on a life size screen many more design options. The power of this software is truly awesome.   This concept is not far off from what most designers offer now with photo realistic renderings printed from their computer screens, but I believe this software with it’s life size images would take photo realistic images of a remodel to the next level in sales opportunities and ease of more product access.

I can see this as a phenomenal sales tool in a plumbing showroom too. It’s not possible for showrooms to carry samples of every single line available. But with this new software, there are so many cool things you could do with it. Envision a life size virtual kiosk, with a sales associate showing your client a custom shower system, imagine selecting the placement of the body jets, shower head, hand held in a virtual setting. Don’t like the handle style or want to see it in another color? In a flash you pick another. Move the hand held shower to a different spot? No problem. Maybe even show the water spray patterns on shower heads. I mean, think about it, there are endless possibilities with this software.

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Posted in Kitchen Organization, Kitchens of the Future, Qinetiq, Sir James Dyson

Dyson and Qinetiq: Game On. Inventors battle it out in the kitchen.

News from the Sunday timesonline.co.uk, May 3, 2009 reveals that Sir James Dyson, the inventor, who revolutionized the vacuum cleaner with a dual cyclone bagless vacuum, has filed new British and American patents for new kitchen design inventions. According to the Times article, Dyson and Qinetiq, the research company spin-off from the Ministry of Defense, are competing to provide the kitchen of tomorrow.

Dyson has patent protected inventions including appliances in tall, rectangular shapes that fit together on a platform, replacing the pointed spouts, long cables and sharp corners of blenders, juicers and kettles.

This weekend, cleaning out my refrigerator, I was thinking of replacing all my round plastic ware with square shaped clear storage containers. Square shapes take up less space than round food savers. It is always a battle to keep a fully stocked refrigerator organized, with food viewable from clear containers and accessable. Can’t wait to see what Sir James has in mind for the kitchen of the future.

Meanwhile, the article further states that scientists at Qinetiq, (pronounced kinetic), are developing flexible crockery that can be bent into a plate, bowl or cup. It uses “shape memory alloys” developed for the military.

Now if they could just come up with plastic food savers that do not stain or lose thier shape once washed in a dishwasher. Ah, nothing beats glass, but glass is not so practical when packing a lunch to go. Qinetiq and Sir James Dyson, are you up for the challenge?

What say you? What would you like to see improved in kitchen design? The inventors are listening.