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Around The Home

It's not much, but we call it home

June 14, 2007 It's just so hard to find the right home for your family of 6, 168 cars and 600 full-time personal staff. India's second-richest man, Mukesh Ambani, decided the only way was up. His 60-storey high vertical palace in Mumbai, to be completed in 2008, tells an epic tale of excess - and the locals aren't happy about this ostentatious display, some calling it the "dawn of a new age of vulgarity".  Read More

Informed's Home Emergency Pocket Guide

June 13, 2007 Not everybody's a first-aider or emergency specialist - and every time a natural disaster like Katrina or serious fires comes along, it becomes clear how poorly prepared the average household is to deal with these extraordinary situations. Informed's latest pocket emergency guide is a comprehensive and easy to use reference for families in the case of natural disaster, terrorist attack, chemical or biological contaminations.  Read More

US $1000 12-Foot Inflatable Home Theater

June 7, 2007 Getting a group of people together is about as much fun as you can have, and all too frequently, the excuse for such a get together is to watch an event on the big screen. Now there’s a way of ruggedising the big screen experience so you can take it outdoors In terms of bang-per-buck, the Sima 12-Foot Inflatable Home Theater is a ripper because for US$1000 you get to protect your monstrous pride-and-joy and make it much more versatile at the same time. For those among us who just have to spend a lot of money to get into the experience, there are lots of outdoor speakers designed to look like rocks, wireless, in-ground speakers and ... and we think it’s a great idea that might yet spawn an entire outdoor home entertainment industry.  Read More

FlatWire Ready offers invisible power

June 1, 2007 With wireless technologies being incorporated into many new products, the scope for interior designers to create a new and uncluttered look has never been greater – and we suspect it will be some time yet until we have commercially available wireless power. Which is why we’re so bullish on this product. Since its first patents were filed in 1995, FlatWire Ready technology has been winning awards and converts for its unique approach to electrical wiring. The technology is now available for low voltage lighting, audio, video, voice and data and considerable attention has been paid to the development of installation accessories that make it easy for even a novice DIYer to install in minutes in four easy steps - Map it, Stick It, Click It, and Make it Disappear.  Read More

Nespresso Lattissima with one-touch milk frother

May 22, 2007 Coffee is the world’s second most traded commodity, behind only oil. The short “blast” afforded by a concentrated caffeine hit has become part of the daily ritual of hundreds of millions of people, yet, as any coffee connoisseur will tell you, producing a good coffee is something that is beyond most commercial food establishments on the planet. In recent times, a range of companies have attempted to replicate the perfect coffee by producing machinery that uses standardised pods and sophisticated circuitry to get the temperaures just right every time. The leader in this single-serve coffee segment is Nestle’s Nespresso, with a range of machines we’ve written about many times (Miele's built-in Nespresso machine, Nespresso's InCar coffee machine, Nespresso's Romeo, the Nespresso Essenza, and our original assessment of the Nespresso system back in 2003) and the company’s latest innovation has been done in concert with De’Longhi, the Italian household appliance designers. The Nespresso Lattissima machine is the manifestation of the companies’ mutual vision to create a machine that would enable connoisseurs to easily prepare a latte or cappuccino of the highest quality with a one-touch milk froth function.  Read More

An artists' impression of the BoKlok 2 and 3-bedroom homes.

May 18, 2007 The popular BoKlok affordable housing project gained momentum in the UK on Wednesday with the announcement that Live Smart @ Home have applied to almost quadruple the number of properties the company is building. The stylish and efficient factory-fabricated family homes, which we previewed last month, are soon to go on sale, and likely to disappear fast.  Read More

Zircon's Repeater 25 tape measure

May 18, 2007 Zircon have added a couple of clever new electronic tools to their range; a laser measuring device that can automatically calculate surface area or volume, and a very affordable metal detector/stud finder. These new products are the latest additions to a range of Zircon tools that use smart technology to make the handyman's life a lot easier.  Read More

The Electrolux condenser tumble dryer uses steam to make ironing easier and saves on dry c...

May 17, 2007 One of the most universally despised chores, ironing is a killer-app opportunity. With this in mind, household appliance innovator Electrolux has introduced a new type of condenser tumble dryer that cleverly uses steam to make the job of ironing easier. Iron Aid is a unique technological innovation, with special steam cycles that will reduce, or even eliminate, the need to iron, saving the hassle and time associated with this chore. The design uses steam to reduce and remove wrinkles and creases, to deliver ready-to-wear clothes. Up to five wrinkle free shirts can be produced in just 20 minutes and the Iron Aid can refresh and de-odorise even “dry clean only” garments and will refresh a silk or wool suit in 20 minutes. The product was released in Europe earlier this year, achieving its projected annual sales figures for 2007 by the end of March. Like we said, ironing is a killer-app opportunity, and this product appears to be a contender.  Read More

Caroma's H2Zero Waterless Cube Urinal

May 17, 2007 It's not our favourite subject, but it has the potential of saving the average office building around 2.3 million litres of water each year. Caroma's H2Zero Cube Urinal is completely waterless, featuring an air-tight seal and deodorising cartridge to keep bathrooms smelling fresh without squandering water.  Read More

May 12, 2007 A US$18.6 million “self-healing” house will be able to resist earthquakes by sealing cracks in its walls and monitoring seismic vibrations. The walls of the house contain nano polymer particles designed to convert into liquid when under pressure, flow into cracks, and solidify. This would theoretically stabilize the structure after severe seismic trauma. Funded by the European Union, and using technology from Leed University’s NanoManufacturing Institute, the house is to be constructed in Greece by 2010.  Read More

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