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Around The Home


— Around The Home

Nest Learning Thermostat learns user habits and programs itself

While programmable thermostats are nothing uncommon these days, many users adjust the temperature manually utilizing the thermostat's basic feature only. On the other hand, it's certainly difficult to develop an appropriate program corresponding to the volatility of daily life. Designed by a team led by ex-Apple engineer Tony Fadell, the Nest Learning Thermostat offers a new take on automatic temperature adjustment. Featuring a simple knob-based design, the unit is capable of self-programming itself via a combination of its user's habits, activity sensors and Internet-gathered weather information, thus increasing energy savings without much effort on the user's part. Read More
— Around The Home

Acoustic Alarm clock replaces buzzer with strings

We’ve heard about alarm clocks that jolt you awake with 113 decibels of sound while shaking your bed, that won’t stop ringing until you’ve done your exercises, or that you have to chase across the room. If you want to be woken in a more civilized, serene fashion, however, you might like the Acoustic Alarm – should it ever become commercially available, that is. Instead of an annoying beep, buzz or radio DJ, the one-off design exercise uses a motorized pic to strum four guitar strings, in order to gently rouse its user. Read More
— Around The Home

Greensound Technology expands exotic glass speaker line-up

Greensound Technology made its first appearance at IFA this year and alongside its Serac series speakers, the company was showcasing its latest offerings - the Luno and Cube subwoofer. Like all Greensound's creations, the Luno speakers are made from a pane of glass - this time curved slightly - that isn't just for show but actually vibrates to produce the sound that is projected from both sides to deliver "360 degree sound." Read More
— Around The Home

iRoom iDock is the world’s first motorized, in-wall iPad dock

We've seen iPad docks that mount an iPad on a wall, on a car dashboard and on a fridge, but the iRoom iDock is the first we've come across that mounts an iPad in the wall. Featuring a motorized docking system that automatically opens and closes thanks to a proximity sensor, the iRoom iDock is flush-mounted to the wall, which means you'll need the services of an electrician to connect the unit to your home's electrical system. Read More
— Around The Home

Play video memo pad drags the fridge-magnet into the digital age

Not so long ago, leaving a message for other members of the household would often involve sticking a note on the fridge and hoping they saw it. Now that just about everybody has a mobile phone, hastily scribbled notes have given way to hastily thumbed text messages or a quick voice, or even video call. Native Union is looking to somehow combine the almost lost art of not-so-instant messaging with the more modern video call with its Play video memo pad. Read More
— Around The Home

App-based remote room monitoring system for iPad and iPhone

When I lived in what is generally described as an unsavory neighborhood, I had a device installed which would ring my mobile phone if the alarm sounded. Technology has moved on a tad since then with home monitoring options like this one from Florida-based Stem Innovation. The company has developed an app-controlled video camera called the iZON Remote Room Monitor that streams live video and audio to your iOS device when movement or sound is detected at home. The system can even send the recording direct to a private YouTube account for safe-keeping or sharing. Read More
— Around The Home

Dyson unveils its first Ball cylinder vacuum cleaner

Until now, Dyson's patented Ball technology that lets vacuum cleaners turn on a dime - or rather a ball - has only been available in its upright models. Now the company has unveiled its first cylinder - or canister - vacuum with Ball technology in the form of the DC37. On show it IFA 2011, the DC37 also includes a "Musclehead" floor tool that recognizes the floor surface and automatically retracts its brushes on carpet, and lowers them on hard floors. Read More
— Around The Home

Miele to release solar-heated clothes dryer

At last year's IFA electronics trade show, Miele unveiled its SmartGrid-ready washer and dryer. Although they run off of regular mains power, these machines are also able to access the internet and determine when rates will be cheapest. Users indicate the time period in which the laundry must be washed or dried, the appliances choose the least expensive time within that period, then proceed to automatically start at that time. At IFA 2011, Miele has gone one better by unveiling what it describes as the world's first dryer to use the heat of the sun to get the wetness out of clothes. Read More
— Around The Home

Philips introduces Sonicare AirFloss

Dental professionals inform us that cleaning between the teeth is essential to good tooth and gum health but regular flossing can be at best time consuming and at worst painful. Philips has introduced a new member to its Sonicare range of dental care products at IFA 2011 that dislodges interdental plaque and bacteria with rapid bursts of air and water. The cordless Sonicare AirFloss is about the same size as a standard electric toothbrush and features an angled nozzle with guidance tip for precision placement. Read More
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