It’s been a while since the kitchen landscape changed. There’s the fridge, the stove, the microwave, and maybe a number of smaller gadgets to accompany them. But now, GE Appliances has a new idea: it wants to add in a huge, 27-inch touchscreen tablet that’ll sit right above the stove.
GE is calling this appliance the Family Hub, and it really does seem to work like a hub. The tablet’s main screen displays control options for other smart appliance and smart home gadgets as well as video feeds from any internet-connected cameras you have hooked up. GE wants people to be able to look up recipes on this thing, too, of course, but also be able to use it for making video calls, which actually seems like a fine idea since people spend a long time preparing meals in the kitchen.
The hub actually has two different cameras: one that faces forward for video chatting, and another that looks down on the stovetop for Instagramming.
Since it sits above the stove, the Family Hub also doubles as an exhaust hood. That’s arguably its most useful (and primary) function, since it’s a thing that people actually own and use right now and probably a higher priority for most people than another large touchscreen.
GE Appliances — which, oddly enough, is owned by Haier as of last year, not GE — hasn’t announced pricing for the Family Hub yet, but an early model is supposed to be on display at CES this week. A final product is supposed to ship in the second half of the year.