In the move toward sustainable homes, the progress of showers has been more of a trickle. Ten minutes in a traditional shower can use up to 100 l (22 gal) of water. The Hamwells e-Shower, however, promises high pressure and volume, while saving up to 90 percent on water and 80 percent on energy.
Portable coffee makers come in all shapes and sizes, as the Handpresso Auto and the Hey Joe travel mug demonstrate. The Oomph is yet another crack at perfecting this product, and its makers claim it is "the perfect coffee companion, designed for coffee lovers by coffee geeks."
De'Longhi's new PrimaDonna Elite will pretty much put a coffee shop in your kitchen. It can produce hundreds of different styles, lets users save their preferences, and can be controlled via a mobile app. De'Longhi says it is the world's "first smart connected bean-to-cup coffee machine."
Most modern lighting operation is fairly straightforward – switches flip on/off, maybe even dim. More recently connected bulbs have offered the additional benefits of wireless settings, and some even double as speakers. Now directional control is being added to the smart lighting mix. The Fluxo smart lamp is designed to cast light, directly and/or indirectly, with simple finger swipes on a mobile device.
Home security devices like the Canary, Sentri and Angee provide useful two-way audio and video links to a room in your home. That's great unless the elephant is in another room. The SensorSphere has similar functionality, but can roll around your home and be controlled remotely.
Two of the biggest drawbacks to home security systems is that many of them are difficult to install and that people aren't very keen on sharing their homes with obvious cameras staring at them. New York-based startup Canary's eponymous security device is a plug-and-play system that's designed to blend into the decor. The recently-released upgraded version includes a new learning functionality, so we set one up to see how well it got on with the job of standing guard.
Padlocks are one of those everyday objects that seem ripe for the Internet of Things treatment, so it's no surprise that Master Lock has given its new line an intelligence boosting upgrade. Aimed at making forgotten combinations or lost keys a thing of the past, the company's Bluetooth-enabled smart padlocks improve security, simplify sharing and even send out tamper alerts. They're definitely smarter padlocks, but is a smart padlock for you?
Iraqi-British starchitect Zaha Hadid recently turned her considerable talent to designing a prefabricated pavilion. The Volu Dining Pavilion is currently on display at Design Miami and available for purchase in a very limited edition – with a reported price tag of US$480,000.
Sous vide (literally, under vacuum) is a popular method of slow cooking for professional chefs and serious home cooks alike, though its use has mostly been limited to epicureans with a budget for spending on the necessary gadgetry. Anova is among those who have sought to lower the bar of entry in recent years, releasing its affordable sous vide Precision Cooker in 2013. With its latest precision cooker, the company has added Wi-Fi to enable meals to be ready and waiting when you return home. We recently had the chance to try it out for ourselves.
Imagine being able to use the proliferation of wireless signals that exists today for something more than social media posts and entertainment. That's what Cognitive Systems is doing with its Amera device. It detects wireless signals from a variety of sources like cell towers, Wi-Fi base stations and rogue signals, and turns them into cyber security alerts, crowd insights, and wireless network monitoring.