2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Around The Home

Pimp my Grill - the BeefEater gold-plated barbeque

May 11, 2007 We’re not quite sure what it is about barbeques, but we’ve seen our share of innovative outdoor cooking appliances in recent times. First there was the 345 horsepower, 5.7-liter HEMI V8 barbeque, then the Powerblock V8 BBQ that brands the food it cooks with the logo of your choice and then GarageWorks’ concept tailgating appliance that cooks, cools, warms and stores. Now we’ve seen it all – in a promotional initiative designed to draw attention to its range of barbeques, BBQ manufacturer BeefEater has created the ultimate in backyard bling – the world’s first fully operational gold-plated barbecue. All parts of the US$12,500 grill except for the cooking surfaces have been individually plated in 24 carat gold. BeefEater tricked out one of its range-topping Signature Series 6 Burner SL4000 to create a uniquely lavish gold plated barbecue, “for those who want to make a statement with their barbecue and have the money to burn.”  Read More

Samsung's Vibration Reduction Technology (VRT) washing machine

May 9, 2007 If your washing machines often makes more noise than mating walruses, you’ll be pleased to hear that at long last there’s a solution for the vibration and noise caused by unbalanced loads during the spin cycle. Samsung’s new Vibration Reduction Technology (VRT) washing machine is claimed to be the quietest ever during the spin cycle. The new VRT Washing Machine can be seen for the first time at the 2007 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (K/BIS) this week in Las Vegas.  Read More

SeaChange's Axiom Core 4.0 is the latest version of the most widely deployed VOD managemen...

May 8, 2007 Turning the television model on its head, Video On Demand (VOD) is developing into a serious competitor for broadcast and cable TV programming. Leaving aside the vast television content piracy "industry," established TV companies are looking at how to capitalise on developing technology that allows users to pick and choose what they watch and exactly when. As storage and streaming solutions improve, the ability to get home and turn on the 6 o'clock news at 6:45 gets closer to a reality. As a major player in pushing technology forward in the VOD industry, SeaChange is unveiling two new products at The Cable Show over the next couple of days. Axiom Core 4.0 is the latest version of the company's proven VOD network, content and subscriber management software. MediaServer Flash Streamer is the first VOD content serving medium to eliminate volatile media such as spinning discs.  Read More

IKEA's ingenious affordable housing system

April 16, 2007 Built in a quality-controlled factory, delivered and assembled in a day. The BoKlok (pronounced Boo Clook) housing concept, a partnership between property company Live Smart @ Home and Swedish furniture giant IKEA is only months away from bringing the average UK family a stylish, efficient and affordable housing option.  Read More

Miniskaff - an affordable, safe home scaffolding system

April 5, 2007 Australian company AdForm is to unveil an interesting portable scaffolding for domestic usage this weekend at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show. The key feature of the standard 1.8 metre AUD$595 (US$485) Miniskaff is that it can be assembled inside eight minutes, deconstructed to fit into a standard car luggage space and offers a safe, stable elevated platform capable of carrying a workload of 225 kilograms. So that could be two people making themselves a comfy platform at an outdoor spectator event, a safe place from where one can safely trim the hedge, or paint the house or … lotzastuff. The modular 1.6 gauge Galvabond steel frame components are interchangeable and extra parts are available to extend the height. The platforms are Grip Mesh galvanized steel and if correctly cared for, should last for generations. Miniskaff is seeking international licensors for the system.  Read More

NuVo OLED Audio Controller

April 4, 2007 NuVo, best known for whole-house audio systems, has released details of its new in-wall, multi-room home audio controller. The Control Pad uses OSRAM Opto Semiconductors' 2.7-inch Pictiva OLED display for durability, high-contrast and readability from any angle and in bright daylight conditions.  Read More

The frightfully proper alarm clock

April 4, 2007 For those who resent being awoken by the shrill ring of an alarm or the inane chatter of breakfast radio jocks, there is now a classier option. Voco has developed an alarm clock that sounds off with the dulcet tone of English comedian Stephen Fry, known for his work in TV shows Blackadder and the Young Ones. Fry, who once made the claim that his “vocal cords are made of tweed,” recorded 50 tender, deferential, deeply respectful wake-up messages to coax "sir" from his depths and into the world. The clock, which stands at 110mm, is available to purchase on the Voco website. The popularity of the UKP26 (US$51) product has ensured that an equivalent version will soon be created – "for madam". You can hear MP3 samples of Fry’s wake-up messages here.  Read More

Every home should have one – new connected building solution reduces Capital and Operating...

March 28, 2007 Extraordinarily exciting news from the International Security Conference (ISC) being held in Las Vegas starting tomorrow is a connected building solution that paints a promising picture of the rate at which home automation technologies are maturing. The interactive Connected Building display at ISC Booth 3109 will demonstrate the deployment and convergence of a building automation system within the IT infrastructure. Utilizing a PANDUIT end-to-end system, including Power over Ethernet, zone cabling, and copper/fiber cabling, to monitor and control all building functions (e.g. security and communications) should result in significant operational efficiencies for the intelligent home of the future.  Read More

Bretford’s multipurpose Plus Tablet Arm Chair with laptop surface

March 23, 2007 The new Bretford Plus Tablet Arm Chair has a laptop surface, coffee cup holder and a supportive seat design, offering a combination of productivity and comfort for higher education and office environments. The chair will be available exclusively through the North American dealerships of Herman Miller, and will be shown for the first time at the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP) show (March 25-28) in San Jose, California.  Read More

Electrolux releases Intuitive Oven Interface (IOI) for microwave ovens

March 23, 2007 As Apple has so convincingly demonstrated, a simple generic device can be transformed into a killer product with a ripper interface. We’re all aware of the limitations of traditionally appalling video recorder and microwave oven interfaces so we’re very pleased to report that Electrolux is releasing a new range of microwave ovens with a new and vastly improved (at least that’s the claim) interface. Called the Intuitive Oven Interface (IOI), Electrolux claims it’s so simple, you won’t ever need to read the manual. The new ovens are part of Electrolux’s E:Line collection of kitchen appliances.  Read More

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