Supplemented by a stroll—or, to be more accurate, a trek—to its co-located expo, the 2015 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) experience was more rewarding than in recent years. Attendance was estimated at better than 125,000 visitors to the 500- exhibitors that occupied the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center from January 20 to 22.
This year's products utilized technology in seamless ways that focused more on convenience than on the novelty factor. (Would it be premature to celebrate the demise of the music-streaming, social-media savvy, major appliance? I think not.) GE partnered with coffee-capsule juggernaut Keurig, and delivered a refrigerator equipped with an in-door, single-serve hot beverage brewer.
LG Hausys offered a wireless, phone-charging system called TechTop: simply place the phone on an enabled surface and the mobile device charges on . The manufacturer currently offers the technology embedded in its Viatera quartz material as well as its Hi-Macs solid surfacing, and will sell the technology to non-competing entities. (DuPont™ Corian® has also been working in collaboration with the Power Matters Alliance to embed wireless charging technology into its line of synthetic granite countertops.) This operation can easily be likened to induction cooktops, which use magnets to convey electrical power.
Dacor’s already-smart Discovery iQ appliance series now has an app that allows users to operate the oven via voice control. In a bold bit of reverse engineering, Blum has developed a mechanical version of its electrified ServoDrive; the result is a door/drawer opener that offers equal performance at a lower price point.
Some new items were notably pragmatic responses to the marketplace—Dacor introduced a fully integrated 36-inch refrigerator, and a 30-inch, zero-clearance range debuted from Thermador—that squarely target the boom in high-rise urban housing.
KBIS 2016 will take place January 19-21, 2016 in Las Vegas.