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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

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

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

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

Click and Grow computerized pot-plant hits the market

The Click and Grow computerized pot-plant system that first caught our eye last year in prototype form has had a few refinements and has now gone into full-scale production and is ready for sale. Perfect for those without the time or green thumb to successfully grow indoor plants but who still have the desire for a touch of Mother Nature indoors, the Click & Grow is an automated planter pot system designed to make growing plants a set and forget activity.Read More

Electrolux Design Lab Finalists opened up to people's vote

The grand final of this year's Electrolux Design Lab 2011 competition is fast approaching. The field has been reduced to the last eight solutions for compact living and video presentations of the concept designs produced. The young designers will get their chance to pitch for victory in front of the judges on September 7 in London, but before that Electrolux has opened up the ballot box for the People's Choice - a chance to reward your favorite design with some of the limelight. Read on for a look at those video presentations...Read More

Smart String winds up the tape-measuring process

Although it would be wrong to say that tape measures are difficult to use, they can sometimes certainly be a bit fiddly – a couple of examples include the measuring of objects that aren’t straight-edged, or having to squint to count off the exact millimeters on the tape. Pocket Smart String, however, goes about measuring in a different way. Users pull a string out from the pocket calculator-sized device, laying it alongside or winding it around whatever they want to measure. The exact length is digitally displayed on the device’s LCD screen, and can then be stored in its memory for calculating things such as area or volume.Read More

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush charges via rinsing glass or USB

Oral hygiene has come a long way from the twigs, bird feathers and animal bones our ancestors used to clean their teeth. The first recorded toothbrush in history consisting of a twig with a frayed end called a chew stick dates back to 3,000 BC but toothbrushes have since evolved to include electric toothbrushes that move the brush head more rapidly than our puny wrists can manage. Such devices of course require charging, which usually means a charge station taking up valuable real estate on the bathroom counter alongside a rinsing glass. Now Philips has released a toothbrush that charges when placed in a glass that can still be used to rinse your mouth after brushing.Read More

ixxi - a cheap and portable way to make BIG photo prints

It's hard to say whether this sort of product will unleash a stream of creativity or a gushing torrent of poor taste. Dutch printing company ixxi has come up with an innovative, inexpensive and very nifty way to print and hang large scale artworks. By breaking the photo or design up into lots of smaller cards, which are later joined together for presentation using funky little plastic x and i shaped connectors, ixxi avoids the prohibitive expense of larger scale printing, as well as making it easy to package a wall-sized piece of art up into a small box. In fact, the same technology lets you visit an art gallery, and take a life size, photorealistic replica of your favorite wall fresco home with you, ready to reassemble and hang.Read More

'Personal Brewery' produces beer in seven days

Home beer-brewing is sort of like writing a novel – although you might like the idea of having done it, the thought of all the work involved in doing it can be off-putting. If the PR materials are to be believed, however, the WilliamsWarn brewing machine could make the process a lot easier ... and quicker. Unlike the four weeks required by most home brewing systems, it can reportedly produce beer in just seven days.Read More

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