Heating bills in colder climates can be a nasty surprise and turning the thermostat down on a chilly night can be an unpleasant exercise in economy. Room in Room is a modern take on the four poster bed from tentmaker iKamper that aims to help reduce those heating bills. Based on popular South Korean indoor tents, it's designed to go over the bed and conserve a sleeper's heat, so the room temperature can be kept down.
If the movies and TV are to be believed, picking a conventional lock is as easy as sticking a tool into a keyhole, thoughtfully moving it around for a few seconds, then pulling the door open with a crafty smile. While there are special high-security locks that are much harder to pick, they also tend to be quite expensive. That's why Canadian inventor Ryan Bowley created the Bowley Lock – it's claimed to be virtually pick-proof, yet affordable to the average home-owner.
Recently, the Canadian company bObsweep unveiled the bObi Pet – its latest robot vacuum cleaner, which showcases improvements over the previous bObi Classic with a special emphasis on features for cleaning up after pets. Boasting new algorithms aimed at dealing with pet hair, it has more sensors and brushes than previous bObi robots to help it clean hardwoods, laminates, and carpets. To give it the acid test, we put it against a two-bedroom flat that hadn't been vacuumed in 10 days and is home to a pair of dogs who shed like they're filling backorders. Here's what we found.
In the last few years we've seen a succession of connected letterboxes designed to modernize your mail by tracking incoming deliveries. But as the amount of shopping being done online continues to grow, so too does the size of the packages we need our mailboxes to regularly handle. One US company is looking to answer the call, with a smart, wall-mounted container that secures big packages as they are dropped off, and can even help arrange for their return.
Belgian researchers working in collaboration with the world's largest chocolate producer, Barry Callebaut, have bred robust yeasts that ferment cocoa to produce bespoke aromas and flavors in the finished chocolate. According to the team, this makes possible a new range of boutique chocolates that can match particular flavors in the same way that craft beer, coffee, tea, and wine can.
The British electrical plug may be a design classic, but it's also very bulky and doesn't exactly fit in with the ultra-mobile digital age. To save some tablets from an undeserved scratching, Hong Kong-based OneAdaptr has come up with its Flip folding plug. The focus of a Kickstarter campaign running through December 18, the Flip opens like a pair of jaws and combines USB charging ports with an optional internal battery.
Unless Movember is a year-round lifestyle choice, you're probably shaving on a regular basis. And with all things being equal, people with more and/or thicker hair tend to cycle through replacement cartridges faster. Well, those folks will be glad to know that the latest shaving tool utilizes science and technology to create blades that are harder, sharper, and last much longer than steel. Zafirro's Z2 razor is designed with a pair of white sapphire blades to cut hair and reduce disposable waste.
By now, you're probably quite used to things like smartphones, cameras and even car dashboards having a bewildering array of features. Well, Electrohome recently decided to give that same treatment to the humble alarm clock, in the rather ironic form of its Retro Alarm Clock Radio. We recently got our hands on the thing, and tried out features such as its autoset clock, sunrise wake-up lamps, motion detector snooze button and … thermometer?
Home security cameras can provide a sense of, well, security, but there's something Orwellian about having a lens staring at you like a prop out of an episode of The Prisoner. A more discreet solution is something that doesn't look like a camera and, better yet, combines some other functions to make it more welcome. One example is the Sentri home monitoring system that combines a motion-activated camera with the looks of a digital information center. We powered one up to see what it could do.
For some people, morning doesn't start until after that first sip of piping-hot coffee. Depending on how adamant you are about the ideal cup, this could involve getting up, getting dressed, and driving to a local coffee shop first. But those who are interested in having the convenience of a professional barista right at home may find it with Auroma Brewing Company. Its Auroma One is a smart coffee maker that's designed to learn taste preferences and craft perfect cups of coffee.