Around The Home

Bowley Lock promises high security at a low price

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.Read More


Review: bObi Pet robotic vacuum designed to give pet hair the brush off

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.Read More

uCella upsizes the connected mailbox for online shoppers

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.Read More

Belgian scientists use hybrid yeasts to create boutique chocolates

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.Read More

Flip flattens the British three-pronged plug

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.Read More

Zafirro's blades of sapphire pare hair with micrometer-level precision

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.Read More


Review: Electrohome's new clock radio packs a lot of features into a Retro package

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?Read More


Review: Sentri keeps a discreet watch over the home

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.Read More

Auroma One learns and brews coffee according to personal taste preferences

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.Read More

Floyd Bed Frame puts house-moving struggles to bed

Bed frames are a pain when you're moving house. They are either big, bulky and difficult to move, or flimsy flat-packs that fall apart after being painstakingly put back together. The new Floyd Bed Frame, however, is aimed at being simple to assemble, easy to transport, minimal and sturdy.Read More


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