Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Around The Home

The SmartMat is a Wi-Fi enabled device designed to fit under a regular doormat

We've got smart doorbells, smart locks and smart door handles, so why not a smart doormat? Dr. Andrew Clark has created just such a device called, surprisingly enough, the SmartMat. Designed to be placed under a regular doormat, the SmartMat acts as a pressure sensor and features Wi-Fi connectivity to allow actions to be triggered when someone steps on it.  Read More

BrewNanny is designed to be used as a tool to guide the hobbyist in refining their beer cr...

While a mouthful of home-brewed beer delivers a certain degree of satisfaction for hobbyists and expert craftsmen alike, seeing the hops, yeast and water come together to create a refreshing drop can take some serious know-how and even more serious man-hours. BrewNanny is a device designed to help ease the burden by using built-in sensors to monitor and offer guidance throughout the brewing process.  Read More

Creative children will be able to furnish their whole room using Olla

Given even the smallest opportunity to get creative, kids will invariably take it. This is why modular furniture designed to appeal exclusively to children is potentially such a good idea. Olla is just that, offering children of all ages the opportunity to build their own Lego-style furniture.  Read More

The Kitchen Becomes Open! project is seeking out 10 budding designers to workshop sustaina...

Italian design firm Valcucine is looking to turn its showroom at next month's Milan Design Week into a collaborative space by seeking out 10 budding designers to workshop sustainable modifications to its Meccanica kitchen concept. The "Kitchen Becomes Open!" project is set to take place over six days and will fundamentally be an open-source venture from start to finish. Participants will work with a team of experts to develop ideas and ultimately make them freely available for distribution and modification.  Read More

Green Spirit Creations saw an opportunity to create environmentally-friendly products usin...

UK-based Green Spirit Creations is the latest team to try its hand at paper-based lighting solutions. Seeking out discarded materials from local shop-owners, its stylish household lamps are made from 100 percent recycled cardboard (bulbs, wiring and switches aside).  Read More

The Aros air conditioner works with the WINK app

Air conditioners are a blessing in a hot climate, but with their thermostat minds they’re almost like sticking a vacuum cleaner in your wallet. To help remedy this, GE and Quirky have launched the Aros smart air conditioner; the first major connected appliance of the partnership. This Wi-Fi-enabled air conditioning unit uses Quirky’s WINK app to learn its owner’s habits and adjust itself accordingly, so it keeps the home cool without breaking the bank.  Read More

Using bone conduction, the Dreampad delivers audio only the person lying on it

There are many people who find a little music helps them drift off to sleep at night. Conversely, there are many people who don't. The Dreampad from Integrated Listening could be just the thing for couples with a foot in each camp.  Read More

The unobtrusive nature of SnapRays adds weight to its creator's claim as a convenient repl...

Placing guidelights up your hallway or down your staircase can involve bulky plugin solutions or a professional and expensive installation. SnapRays Guidelight, an easy-install outlet cover with built-in LEDs, could simplify this process by turning any standard power outlet into a night light without the need for re-wiring or batteries.  Read More

Droplet works by selectively watering the plants in your garden

There's no two ways about it: your common or garden sprinkler (so garden, in all probability) is a blithering half-wit. Rain or no, if you don't turn it off, it'll water your lawn whether it needs it or not, and much more besides. The Droplet wants to change all that. A sort of "smart" water cannon, it knows which parts of your garden to water, and when.  Read More

The gel-tags use nanotechnology to show when a product has gone off

We're all familiar with the sell-by dates stamped on groceries. They're supposed to protect us, but in practice, they can be a bit of a coin toss. Now a research team led by Chao Zhang of Peking University in Beijing, China has come up with a color-coded smart tag that uses nanotechnology to tell when the food or drugs in a package are in danger of spoiling.  Read More

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