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Around The Home

How to avoid taking out the garbage quite as frequently

January 2, 2008 Taking out the garbage (who and/or when and/or how frequently) is undoubtedly the greatest threat to household harmony of any domestic chore. The Broan Elite XE Trash Compactor won’t exactly remove the chore, but with a compaction ratio of 6-to-1, it’ll reduce the number of times you need to argue about it and/or do it. With a three-quarter horsepower motor offering 3000 pounds of compacting force, each 1.5 cubic foot compacted bag holds the equivalent of six 13 gallon bags of ordinary trash, so it’ll lighten the volume for local landfills and reduce the volume for garbage pick-up, providing a cost saving for consumers who pay by the load. The unit also has antimicrobial protection to fight odor-causing bacteria and a replaceable odor control disc that is rotated automatically and hence lasts six months.  Read More

Black & Decker to offer remotely lockable deadlocks

January 2, 2009 The advent of the automated or smart home is gathering momentum and acceptance in the community, and Pocket-Lint is reporting that Black & Decker is about to enter the smart deadlock marketplace. Black & Decker owns Quickset which recently released a range of keyless entry deadbolts as the SmartCode Signature Series (pictured) but the description offered by Pocket-Lint goes well beyond the capabilities of the current Quicket offerings. Apparently the new B&D motorised electronic deadbolts can be locked and unlocked remotely, mimicking the functionality of the recently acquired Z-Wave product which enables such remarkable initiatives as the Nokia Home Control Center. The product is due to launch this month so stay tuned.  Read More

Knife Block eliminates germs

Knives are an essential part of any kitchen - germs aren't. This sanitary knife block promises a high level of protection against cross-contamination by using UV-C light technology to sterilize your blades, getting rid of 99.99% of food bacteria and viruses in a process that takes just 20 seconds.  Read More

Serious celebration: the Waring Professional Cordless Wine Opener

Here's a last minute gift idea for the hard working waiter or the wine-lover who does a great deal of entertaining. Featuring one touch operation and a soft rubber handle, the new Waring Professional Cordless Wine Opener can remove up to 80 corks on one charge.  Read More

'Zikmu' Wireless Speakers

Renowned and prolific French Designer Philippe Starck has added to his diverse portfolio in a collaboration with wireless specialist Parrot. The result is the 'Zikmu', an iPod ready wireless speaker system that combines Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability with 360° NXT surround sound in a design that's a fusion of modern minimalist lines and 70's bell-bottom fashion - it certainly works for us.  Read More

GE Energy’s Smart CFL

GE Energy’s new Smart compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb combines miniaturized electronics with GE’s Spiral CFL inside the glass bulb to achieve a conventional-sized bulb with added energy saving capabilities. The profile of the CFL bulb is virtually identical to a standard incandescent light bulb but offers the equivalent power of a 60W bulb with just 15W.  Read More

'Wallace' models the Sumo Omni Chair

The march of technology and design has elevated the humble bean bag into a surprisingly versatile bit of furniture. Sumo's range of "urban lounge gear" now includes a stiff-walled, tiny-beaned maxi-pillow that can be moulded into several super-comfy positions from crashmat to loveseat to recliner couch. Sure, there's a learning curve - try to "ride the pony" without the proper preparation and you'll end up on the floor - but once mastered, this is one of the most outrageously awesome, buttock-coddling sitting experiences we've ever tried. Loz Blain is barely able to report on his road test of the Sumo Omni Chair due to extreme relaxation.  Read More

Roberts digital kitchen radio

This digital Kitchen Radio from ROBERTS fits neatly under the kitchen cupboards and offers a range of features, including - yes - an egg-timer, making it a nifty cooking companion. The space-saving design means the radio won’t encroach on your much needed counter space when cooking up a storm.  Read More

The iPhone Refrigerator

November 26, 2008 An emerging prestige manufacturer and designer of quality and innovative household goods, Slovenia’s Gorenje graced our pages earlier this year with its wow-factor SmarTable, and has backed up with two prototypes (modern and retro) of a very clever iPod refrigerator and the news that the soon-to-be-available production versions will be followed by an iPhone refrigerator in 2009. Slip your iPod into the dock on the front and it’ll charge, play music and video through the refrigerator’s two built-in 7 watt speakers, and connect to the internet if you have wifi. Gorenje’s plans are ambitious, and include using the touch screen on the iPod to control other Gorenje appliances and there’s an internet portal under development which will enable the remote control of its wifi-enabled oven and dishwasher and plans to add wifi to other Gorenje appliances in the near future. The iPod fridge will cost around EUR1200 and comes with an iPod Touch.  Read More

SwITCH table / chair

We've seen some interesting dual-purpose furniture design concepts of late and the SwiTCh from Ellesco International in Belgium is another bright example. Put the two pieces together and it's a comfortable armchair, separate them and flip the back section upright and it becomes a small table with a seat.  Read More

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