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Around The Home


— Around The Home

The MiniBrew works like an auto coffeemaker for beer

Just like its more formal sibling, craft brewing, home brewing has exploded in popularity in the United States in recent years, and if startups have anything to say about it, the category should keep on growing. Joining the Pico brewer on the crowdfunding circuit, the MiniBrew is another all-in-one countertop brewing system that makes brewing beer nearly as easy – though more time-consuming overall – as brewing coffee.

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— Around The Home

Pico countertop craft automatic brewery for the inexperienced home brewer

In 2013, PicoBrew unveiled its Zymatic automatic beer brewing appliance, which was marketed to professional microbreweries as a way to create high-quality, repeatable test batches of new beer recipes. Now the Seattle-based startup has launched the PicoBrew Pico on Kickstarter. A smaller, more stylish version of the Zymatic, it's aimed at the home brewer with little or no experience, but a desire to make craft beer with as little effort and mess as possible.

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Modular guitar racks designed for the living room

Many guitarists are also gear-head collectors and will likely have more than a few instruments lying about in a spare room, basement studio or loft conversion. The tidier among us may even have our most-used axes lined up and ready to rock in a guitar rack. But a rack in the living room? Unlikely. However, DRS Racks' modular storage system may just be attractive and practical enough to take center stage in the home's main living space.

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— Around The Home

Imperiali Genève's Emperador puts cardboard cigar boxes to shame

Most cigar boxes are cheap cardboard affairs that are useful for keeping bits and pieces in or turning into an inexpensive guitar. Definitely not in the homespun musical category is the Emperador cigar chest from Imperiali Genève. This is a high-tech container that holds two dozen bespoke cigars and clocks in at a cool one million Swiss francs (US$1,048,000) – making this both one of the most expensive and technologically advanced cigar boxes in history.

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— Around The Home

Smartphone-controlled mug keeps coffee at the perfect temperature for longer

That small window where a freshly brewed coffee is at the perfect temperature can close pretty quickly sometimes, particularly if you're distracted by other tasks during your morning routine. California-based Ember Technologies has developed a connected coffee mug that is claimed to keep your beverage hotter for longer, with users able to set the temperature through a companion smartphone app or a twist of the mug's base.

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— Around The Home Review

Review: Ezviz Mini cloud-based wireless camera for home security on a budget

Whether it's for peace of mind while on holiday or to keep an eye on an elderly relative, security cameras are finding their way into more and more homes. Part of the reason for this increased popularity is the drop in price and ease of use and installation offered by an increasing number of systems. Looking to join this increasingly crowded marketplace is the new Ezviz Mini cloud-based, Wi-Fi camera that we recently got hold of and put on patrol.


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— Around The Home

Toaster-sized Evapolar cools, humidifies and purifies the air

Most so-called portable air conditioners stretch the definition of "portable," but the Evapolar isn't one of them. In a form factor about the same size and weight as a small toaster, the unit packs an evaporative cooling system to cool and humidify the air, while an evaporative nanomaterial based on basalt fibers that was developed for the Russian military helps purify the air.


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— Around The Home

Monkey chip brings keyless entry to communal entryways

Smart home technology has made it easy to remotely adjust thermostats or switch lights on and off using mobile devices, and door locks, too, can now be opened with just a tap on a smartphone screen. But what if you live in a gated community or apartment building? Locumi Labs has just launched a smart device that upgrades intercoms to enable keyless entry for such residences.

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