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Around The Home

ModCubes can be reconfigured to form different pieces of furniture, such as this crib/cupb...

Modular furniture – that is, furniture than can be adapted to suit changing needs – is becoming an increasingly common concept. One company has gone right back to basics, and designed building blocks for an extensive range of modular furniture. These building blocks are called ModCubes, and when combined together they form pieces of furniture known as ModRoomz. The word LEGO is nowhere to be seen, but the Danish toy company deserves at least a small nod of appreciation.  Read More

LG HomeChat will allow users to issue commands and receive status updates from their smart...

LG had plenty of eye-catching gadgets at this year's CES, from a massive 105-inch curved 4K display to the bendable G Flex mobile phone, but probably one of the most intriguing new innovations it revealed was the upcoming HomeChat service. LG HomeChat will allow users to issue commands and receive status updates from their smart appliances by texting them and using simple, conversational language. According to the company, you will literally be able to ask your washer "What're you doing?" or your fridge “Do we have beer?” and they will respond just as a person would.  Read More

The Nest Learning Thermostat learns user habits, offering convenience and reduced energy b...

In a clear statement that it believes the future of the home is a connected one, Google today announced its acquisition of smart device company Nest for US$3.2 billion. Following the success of its Learning Thermostat in 2011, Nest introduced its Protect smoke alarm last year, resulting in a line of products that has caught the eye of Google CEO Larry Page.  Read More

Haier's Tianzun air conditioner is the first white good to gain Apple's MFi certification

Signalling that Apple's Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad (MFi) certification may be set to play a bigger role in ushering in the "Internet of Things," Haier has unveiled the first white good to be certified by the MFi program, a smart air conditioner.  Read More

3D Systems unveiled the ChefJet  and ChefJet Pro (pictured) at CES

Last year we reported that Liz and Kyle von Hasseln had modified a 3D printer to churn out custom sugary treats. The husband and wife team's efforts appear to have caught the eye of 3D Systems, with the company responsible for the no-assembly-required Cubify and sub-US$1,000 Cube 3 enlisting them to help develop a 3D printer aimed specifically at the kitchen. The result is the new ChefJet series unveiled at CES, which swaps plastic prints for custom culinary creations.  Read More

roolen's Breath humidifier automatically optimizes moisture for a room

Humidifiers generally require the user to judge the amount of humidity needed to keep the dryness out of the air in their current surroundings, but roolen is aiming to change that with the introduction of its Breath model, which automatically optimizes moisture for a room.  Read More

The Power Pillow comes in a range of different designs, though the battery packs within ar...

The Power Pillow consists of a battery pack encased within a soft cushion that allows you to charge your smartphones and tablets while relaxing on your sofa. When not in use, the Power Pillow hides the battery pack in a safe, easily located place.  Read More

The EmoSpark console is a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled cube that used a combination of faci...

For as long as we’ve been imagining emotionally intelligent machines, we have pictured something at least mildly resembling the human form. From George Lucas’ C-3PO to the recently-developed Robokind Zeno R25, our vision for robotic companionship has typically involved two arms and two legs. Taking a different approach is inventor of the EmoSpark console Patrick Levy Rosenthal, who aims to bring artificial intelligence to consumers in the form of a cube small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.  Read More

The new connected objects from Archos

Archos has unveiled a new range of connected objects ahead of CES in Las Vegas next week. Capable of wirelessly working with each other, and synchronizing with iOS and Android smart devices, the new products fall into either Connected Home and Connected Self lines, and include a new tablet, a tiny home security camera, motion sensors, weather monitors, a personal activity tracker and a blood pressure monitor.  Read More

Ninja Sphere is a one stop intelligent hub, that takes care of all your devices and applia...

Wouldn't it be nice to have a digital house elf that handles the operation of all your various electronic devices? That's what the Ninja Sphere aims to be, a one stop intelligent hub designed to add your various household devices to the Internet of Things. Like other home automation systems, such as Revolv, Ninja Sphere can monitor and allow the remote control of connected devices, but offers expanded capabilities with its gesture control interface and the ability to map the location of devices in the home in real time.  Read More

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