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Around The Home

The Porsche-designed Eton P9110 emergency radio

One of the stand-outs on the floor at IFA was the new Porsche-designed Eton P9110 – in function, it’s a AM/M/Shortwave radio with LED flashlight, cell phone charger, emergency siren, flashing red light and a crank handle so you can generate your own power, but it is more than just the sum of its parts. Made of cast aluminium, its considerable (1.74 pounds - 0.74 kilograms)weight and the feel of its precision knurled nobs, and the look and feel is … quite extraordinary. That’s before we even get to what it looks like, which is a metallic sculpture of great beauty.  Read More

Contemporary DayClock, silver

August 31, 2007 Since the advent of the sundial people have relied on clocks of all shapes, sizes and functions to tell the time. A new type of clock designed for people suffering memory difficulties breaks with convention and goes one step further by telling you what day it is.  Read More

Polymer Optical Fiber home network on display at CEDIA

August 30, 2007 For centuries one’s house has been one’s castle, it’s just that now the castle of choice is also a fully networked entertainment and communications hub. With the aim of making this easier in terms of both installation and performance, Mitsubishi International Corporation and Firecomms have announced a live home network demonstration using Polymer Optical Fiber (POF) at CEDIA Expo in Denver. The demonstration will take the form of a fully networked living room showcasing the advantages in connectivity, flexibility, and up to one Gigabit data rate capability of POF.  Read More

Pottery Barn’s Daily System with Recharge Station

August 23, 2007 Isn’t it strange how people who are masters of the digital realm often struggle with arranging real world objects into a functional office. For these proponents of the geographic strata method of desktop filing (aka anarchy) who would like to get organized but just can’t find a spot for everything, Pottery Barn’s Daily System is well worth a look. It has a series of modular components (corkboard, letter bin, magazine rack, magnetic chalkboard, whiteboard calendar, an office organizer with three hooks for keys, slots etc) which can mix and match to suit even the most dyslexic brain. Pick of the bunch is a new Recharge Station that incorporates Smart Technology so you can organize electronic devices and recharge MP3 players, handhelds, mobile phones and laptops all in one place.  Read More

Roomba vacuum cleaning robot range updated

August 23, 2007 Five years since the launch of its original Roomba vacuum cleaner, robotics manufacturer iRobot has released new improved versions of the vacuum cleaning robots.  Read More

Sustainable House Day 8-9 September 2007

August 22, 2007 Australia will again be celebrating sustainable housing at this year's Sustainable House Day to be held on Sunday 9 September 2007. The event, organized by the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society, is a national open house day for sustainably designed houses and will take place only in Australia this year.  Read More

The UER3200 CIMA Ladder

August 21, 2007 Ladders are one of the earliest examples of technology for the common man and have been in use for tens of thousands of years, perhaps even predating the wheel. Ever improving materials technology has enabled the ladder to take on many new shapes in the last half century but the Cimaladder is the first of a new breed. The single piece carbon fibre composite ladder is extremely strong and weighs just a kilogram making it easily transportable. At EUR 3200 it’s in no danger of revolutionizing the ladder marketplace but it sure is a looker.  Read More

'The Rave” massage and music chair'

August 17, 2007 New technology isn't all about mobile phones and processing speed - along the way its also given us some elaborate ways in which to recline in style while relaxing, working, or doing both at the same time. This new addition to the comfy chair genre from Tranquil Ease combines four different types of massage that can be synchronized with music to deliver optimum relaxation.  Read More

Eco-friendly family home

August 13, 2007 A rural family home built recently in Massachusetts has used, among other eco-friendly technologies and systems, insulating glass units that will significantly cut the amount of energy used in the home. The Heat Mirror insulating glass unit from Southwall Technologies is a solar reflective film applied to a window’s interior that prevents the loss of radiant heat through the window at least three times more efficiently than double-pane glass.  Read More

PalmPeeler tackles last frontier of kitchen chores

August 11, 2007 Peeling vegetables has to rate right up there with taking out the garbage and cleaning the latrine as one of the least popular household duties and given the vagaries in the way vegetables grow, a cost-effective machine that does it automatically is probably still a few decades away. In the meantime there’s the PalmPeeler - a gold medal winning device at the Business Week IDEA 2007 awards that promises to reduce global misery by just a few percentage points.  Read More

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