This article offers up an array of amazing kitchen countertops, but many of these surfaces aren’t just your typical culinary worktops, we also explore integrated interactive Smart kitchen systems built-in right under your fingertips.

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This kitchen appears as separately stacked volumes, with a countertop that blends with the units over each level.

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These clever design, ‘The Cut’, has units that can be reconfigured into different setups, including a slide-away table that can be concealed in an inconspicuous cut in the central block.

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Countertop concealed in a movable metal crate which could come in handy if you decide to change where you cook from.

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Drama is brought to this cooking space with the introduction of a textured glass counter that scatters the light, looking almost like flowing water.

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Looking for something more dramatic? Colored LEDs add a whole new dynamic.

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Delicate, subtle pattern dances over backlit white crystal here, appearing as sunlight on glaciers.

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Butchers block style.

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A more raw and natural look, contrasting with crisp contemporary units.

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Sometimes it is the little things though that makes the countertop unique. For example this cute little trash chute built right into the countertop.

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Or space for a built in herb planter.

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One with a small breakfast nook and extendable surface.

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A more formal dining-cum-counter approach.

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Must remember not to chop the carrots where people have marched their feet across this one!

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This must be a minimalist’s dream.

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On the Essential kitchen, by Toncelli, an olive wood surface electronically slides away to reveal stainless steel food prep and cooking zones, doubling the work area. Photoelectric cells sense potential dangers/obstacles (such as other people/children/pets) and will block its movement to prevent harm.

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Height adjustable work surface at the push of a button.

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Wireless charging points has become the ideal now that we find it more and more impossible to live without an array of mobile gadgetry, and this Corian worktop has been designed with that in mind. Teaming up with the PMA (Power Matters Alliance), DuPont building innovations aims to embed such charging solutions into solid Corian surfaces, used in home and office spaces.

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A futuristic style kitchen offering an array of electronic features, with a top that integrates 2,000 LEDs, a built-in membrane to keep food warm for an extended period of time, and 3 scent dispensers to release a range of aromas. In the vertical extension, an upright screen enables the user of the cook zone to watch TV or surf the internet.

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Something not expensive as the earlier ones. This one just needs pennies.

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How about keys?

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The Prisma is an interactive kitchen concept presented by Italian maker Toncelli in 2012, which incorporates a sliding cutting board and an integrated Samsung Galaxy tablet.

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Yet another smart kitchen by the maker touchscreen and internet connection.

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A more far out concept seen in Microsoft’s vision of a futuristic home. Grace, the Microsoft Home computer, suggests dishes and recipes based on the ingredients and tools set on the kitchen counter.

25Designer: Whirlpool

At first glance this conceptual interactive cooktop by Whirlpool seems to do the impossible, but futuristic ideas like these are not as far off as one might think, as the technologies needed to make this a reality in our homes actually already exist. By utilizing induction heating, the countertop would remain cool to the touch, thus making a touchscreen area safe and practical. An overhead projector puts all of the graphics right in front of us, and a motion capture camera–similar to an Xbox Kinect–makes the interaction possible. No more splashing spaghetti sauce on your iPad whilst checking on your Twitter, Facebook, Spotify, and Pinterest, or look up new recipes right on your countertop!

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