These days, if you can think of a logical and technically feasible use for an appliance or installation, there's a good chance a system exists for it. Smart TVs? Absolutely. Smart refrigerators? Sure. Smart thermostats, beds and lighting? Check, check, check. But a smart kitchen cabinet?

Surprisingly, the answer to that is also a resounding, "Yes." For home installations whose three functions break down to storing food, opening and closing, there are several ways to make your supposedly "dumb" boxes as high-tech as the rest of your home. All you need is a little technical literacy, general automation knowledge and the cash to put it all together. Here are a few ways the kitchen cabinet could become the next piece in your automated home system.

Automated Doors

Self-opening doors are perhaps the most obvious starting point when you consider automated kitchen cabinets. A post at interior design blog Time 2 Design shows one way an automatic kitchen can work, with pictures and video featuring stainless steel cabinets housed behind seriously cool automatic slatted glass doors. Custom cabinets by high-end home installer Anvil Motion boast similarly automated storage options, though the end product is all wood instead of metal-and-glass, and activated by gesture and touch.

But the high-tech fun doesn't stop there. Cabinets like Anvil Motion's can remember where kitchen utensils and ingredients are stored, according to Woodworker's Journal eZine, making it easy to customize various "scenes": Someone wanting to bake a cake might find cabinets containing the essential ingredients easier to find when they open on command. The reality of a self-opening kitchen cabinet is as useful as it is cool, two things the home technologist looks for in any product.

Safety and Access

There's more to an automated kitchen cabinet than just opening doors — it can keep them locked as well. Fingerprint scanners, another Anvil Motion option, could keep sneaky children out of the snack drawer or unscrupulous guests from the medicine cabinet above the stove.

Another possibility is helping those with disabilities have better access to high cupboards. Automated Cabinet Systems combines automatic doors with retractable, lowering cupboards so people in wheelchairs or those with a limited range of motion can access every part of the kitchen. These products offer multiple ways to control the cabinets, with remote controls and touch pads the most popular among these.

A Custom Experience

Like standard kitchen setups, customization is an important factor in developing the perfect automated kitchen. Standard cabinets require individual measurements and installation, and often require a consultation to make sure things will all work together. If you're considering an automated setup for your kitchen, you'll be pleased to hear setting it up will largely follow the same process. As with any home automation setup, the tools are designed to work in a variety of ways. Talking to a professional who knows the ins and outs of automated kitchens will help you better understand your needs.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons