When we talk about kitchens of the future, we usually mean smart appliances and tools, sometimes robots… But if you ask Swedish furniture giant IKEA, it all begins and ends with your kitchen table, the centre of family life at home.

IKEA is popular across the world for its ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories. It’s all very hygge, which, loosely translated, means “cosy” in Danish. IKEA items are practical and all about creating a sense of hygge at home. Want furniture that can charge stuff? Two years back, IKEA launched an entire range of lamps, desks and bedside tables with inbuilt wireless charging spots.

(Currently, a selection of popular IKEA items is available in South Africa only through importer Nevada Furniture.)

IKEA wants to turn your kitchen into a technology hub to make cooking more sustainable, more personal. How? Imagine if your kitchen counter could become a personal assistant. If it could teach you how to cook, or, even better, suggest meals to make based on what ingredients you have.

Meet IKEA’s futuristic “A Table For Living”. Using a projector hanging above a kitchen table, the technology can “draw” on the table’s surface to show you how to make a recipe, weigh your ingredients and actually teach you how to cut them. It also features a built-in hob, so food could be cooked simply by placing a saucepan or pan directly onto the table.

The whole point of having a smart surface is that less food will go to waste. And because it will help you only when you need the help, it’s mindful. So instead of overwhelming you with technology or instructions, you can also use it as just a kitchen table.

Unfortunately, A Table For Living is just a concept (for now) and cannot be bought. Looking to make your kitchen more connected? Check out some other cool kitchen tech we’ve covered.