How often do you really need to do a whole load of dish – or better yet: why would you? If you eat alone or with another person, maybe a few plates, glasses and pieces of silverware are all that is required for a single between-meal cycle.

That is the idea behind this tiny dish-washing device (by Robert Lange) slotted right down into the top of your kitchen island. It is sized and shaped to fit various combinations – hopefully enough for most day-to-day uses.

Set next to the sink, you simply rinse after you eat and (instead of leaving it linger in the basin or partially filling a full-sized washer) drop it down into the convenient space next to it. Maybe not great for guests, but most of the time a stellar and simple little alternative.

There is a key question of efficiency with any design of this kind – can the pump, turbine, heater and water tank truly be used in an energy-saving manner when the loads are so small and runs so frequent? Hard to say, but as a concept it seems like a great middle-of-the-road solution for people who want some option between a large-scale dishwasher and hand washing everything in sinks.