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Around The Home

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

Two-in-one Window Frame and expandable balcony

March 19, 2007 Making the most of the space we have available is becoming an increasingly important factor in apartment living and though this solution might not suit those who suffer from vertigo, it’s a cost-efficient way of adding sunlight and a balcony and opening up a compact apartment just a tad more. Bloomframe is an innovative window frame which can be transformed into a balcony. With one push on a button the balcony opens smoothly within 15 seconds and on the few square meters which are generated two persons can enjoy breakfast in the open air. Although the construction is extremely solid, the balcony looks elegant and transparent. Designers Hofman Dujardin Architects forsee a building where the changing of the weather in spring would see the balcony’s open up like a flower.  Read More

Clocky – the alarm clock that runs away

March 9, 2007 For people who have trouble dealing with an alarm clock telling them it’s time to get up, here’s one potential solution – it’s an alarm clock that runs away and torments you until you get up. When Clocky was just a design concept it received a lot of attention, but now it’s a real product. When the alarm sounds, Clocky will start beeping. You can set him to run away immediately the alarm sounds, or you can set it to snooze once for your chosen number of snooze minutes and if you don't get up, Clocky will start beeping again and run away. His aim is to jump off your bedside table first, so he won’t be easy to catch once, he’s hit the floor. He then scurries away and beeps at you until you get up and catch the little critter.  Read More

'It's all plug and play,' says Kurt Lundell, Sales Engineer at Tenvera. 'Run the spools of...

February 22, 2007 As demand continues to increase exponentially for brighter, faster and more user-friendly consumer electronics, Tenvera has introduced a Plug-n-play fibre optic home network that should ensure that the home network won’t run out of bandwidth any time soon. Tenvera’s new IP Solution allows the home consumer to plug up to eight Tenvera pre-terminated fiber reels into a Stand Alone Switch (SAS) which delivers blazing data speeds to every IP-based piece of consumer electronics in the home through optical fibre. With the likelihood that Voice, Video and Data will all be delivered together and communications channels will all run down the same wires, this is a compelling product as it future-proofs a home network as much as it’s possible right now. The IP Solution complements the Fiber Optic backbone that AT&T, Verizon and others are investing in right now.  Read More

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