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LG’s SmartDiagnosis technology lets washers and dryers chat to technicians over the phone

Throwing the washer or dryer in the car when something goes wrong isn’t really an option, meaning you’ll have to call out a repair person to make a potentially expensive house call. Some manufacturers are installing network capabilities in such devices to allow problems to be diagnosed remotely, but most people don’t have a network connection located in the laundry. LG has come up with a way to troubleshoot washer and dryer issues remotely by getting the devices to chat with a technician over the phone in a language R2-D2 would understand.Read More

ANYWAY Spray allows spray bottles to work at any angle

Perhaps you haven’t given this problem a lot of thought, but it is a problem nonetheless... most spray bottles can’t be used upside down, or even at much of angle once they’re half-empty. Not only that, but there’s always that last little bit of liquid in the bottom that gets wasted. That's because most of them have rigid-tubed sprayers that just have a single hole at the bottom, so they only suck up liquid from the bottom middle of the bottle. Well, British inventor Michael Pritchard has come up with something he calls the ANYWAY Spray, a tube that allows you to hold your spray bottles any way you darn well please, and keep spraying until they’re as dry as Keith Richards’ bourbon glass.Read More

FridgePad turns an iPad into the world’s most expensive fridge magnet

Computers have already conquered the study and the lounge room and have been making steady inroads in their assault on the kitchen with devices such as Internet capable fridges and digital recipe readers. As soon as the iPad was released, more than a few people were pondering its potential as a kitchen computer to provide the functionality of these devices and more. Heck, a few creative types even mounted iPads into their cupboard doors. For those of you who like the idea of a kitchen iPad but perhaps aren't that handy with a jigsaw, you might try the FridgePad.Read More

Haier Power Pad takes energy from shower water and returns it to hot water system

The Haier PowerPad is a concept device shown at SinoCES which captures the energy contained within the water that runs off our bodies every morning in the shower, and returns said energy to the hot water tank. Haier claims the PowerPad is currently capturing and returning 15% of the energy coming out of the faucet and by the time it goes on sale six weeks from now, that figure will be 20-30%. Haier is one of the world’s most innovative companies and is hence foolish to bet against, but we’re struggling to understand the technologies being used and just how optimistic the claims are.Read More

Perfect Portions food scale features built-in nutrition guide

Most U.S. shoppers will be familiar with the Nutrition Facts label on foods which, amongst other things, tells consumers how much fat and salt is in their food. With the Digital Food Scale from Perfect Portions, users can obtain that information whilst weighing out their serving. Ten key nutritional elements are displayed when users type in an appropriate food code from a database of nearly 2,000 foods, empowering users to take control of their daily intake or cut down on foods that may do more harm than good. Read More

'Thermally-elastic' metal to cut summer CO2 emissions and electricity bills

Many readers would be familiar with the electrical blackouts that occur in the summer months resulting from the extra load placed on electricity supplies by air conditioners. A new “smart” metal being developed by researchers at the University of Maryland (UM) could help cool homes and refrigerate food 175 percent more efficiently than current technology, not only giving strained electricity networks a bit of relief, but also drastically cutting summer electricity bills and greenhouse gas emissions.Read More

The Final Countdown: Electrolux Design Lab finalists announced

It’s down to the final eight in the Electrolux Design Lab 2010 competition. Around 1,300 designers from all over the globe entered the competition this year, with the brief being to create space-saving home appliances that would be suited to life in the heavily-populated urban environment expected by 2050. The finalists will present their designs to a jury in London on the 23rd of September with cash prizes and an opportunity of a six month paid internship at an Electrolux global design center up for grabs. Will it be the virtual kitchen helmet, the gel refrigerator or the portable ultrasonic dishwasher that impresses the judges, or will it be one of the other five fantastically futuristic designs?Read More

Quik Drive auto-feed screwdriver – screw things down as quick and easy as nailing them

My name is Loz, and I have a problem with tool lust. I find it very difficult to leave a hardware or auto shop without a heat gun, or a ratcheting spanner set, or some new air tool on top of the three bolts I went in there for. And while I've never had to screw a wall together or install a deck - and I have no plans to start in the immediate future - I'd still find it incredibly hard to resist one of these things if I ever saw it in person. It's a belt-feed screwdriver. A freakin' belt-feed screwdriver. Load it up with a strip of screws, and you're ready to screw more things in quicker succession than you'd ever have dreamed possible. Just watching the Quik Drive promo video after the jump sent me into a shuddering toolgasm.Read More

Matrix Key System lets you change your locks without changing your locks

Most of us at one time or another has lost our keys and know the stress that it causes. Compounding things is the cost that comes with calling out a locksmith to replace all the locks on the windows and doors of your house. But what if you could change your locks simply by inserting another key? That’s just what the Matrix Key System designed by Australian locksmith, Stuart Webb, does. Inserting a new key into the lock effectively changes the lock, rendering the old key useless and saving the hassle and expense of calling a locksmith.Read More

Sanyo home cooker first makes bread from rice grain

Rice is the second highest produced grain in the world after corn. With a large portion of corn crops grown for purposes other than human consumption, rice takes the title of the most important grain with regards to human nutrition and caloric intake. It is especially important in Asian counties such as Japan, however, the consumption of domestic rice in Japan has decreased by half compared to 1962. In an effort to arrest this decline, Japan’s Sanyo has committed to creating products that contribute to increasing rice consumption. The latest is the GOPAN, the world’s first home cooker that makes bread from rice grain. It should also appeal to those on a gluten-free diet.Read More

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