Ottobox is a smart home
automation device that its makers claim could reduce your electricity bills by up to 50 percent. It does this by monitoring the appliances plugged into your wall sockets, and turning them off when they're not in use. The thinking is that all the energy wasted by appliances sitting in standby mode
can soon add up to a hefty amount.
When a fridge is opened, warm external air gets into the main storage area and energy must be used to cool it again. LG tackled this problem with its Door-in-Door French-door refrigerator, which allowed regular-use items to be stored in a door-frame compartment. Now, the company has updated the design.
When you think of wireless chargers for mobile devices, you probably think of inductive charging pads like the Powermat
. But Haier and Energous are thinking bigger – much bigger. The two companies are joining forces to turn household appliances, such as fridges and washing machines, into chargers for mobile devices. Not only that, they will be using the WattUp technology developed by Energous that allows devices to be charged at a distance.
What if your dryer could send a notification that would buzz your phone or smartwatch to let you know your laundry is done? Well, it may be easier to tap into the brains of your appliances than you might think, with the US$20 open-source Green Bean module announced today by GE at MakerCon in New York.
For those with elderly or special needs relatives or friends who live by themselves, it is not always practical to check on their well-being all of the time. Sure, you could drop by or call them on the phone, but if it’s too late or too early in the day, this is inconvenient for both you and them. Evermind helps address these problems by alerting you remotely when electrical appliances are switched on and off by the person that you care about, indicating that they are active and everything is normal.
Nest Labs has announced the launch of a developer program designed to drastically expand the diversity of its home automation devices
and the number of products they interact with. Names like Mercedes-Benz, Jawbone and Google Now are already in the mix.
LG has announced that three premium appliances featuring its HomeChat service
are being readied for launch in South Korea. With HomeChat, the contents of the new smart fridge can be viewed remotely, washing machine cycles be started from afar and an oven set to pre-heat.
If it sometimes seem as if cooking has become an arms race of gadgets, then sous-vide
falls into the secret weapon category. But like many secret weapons, sous-vide units tend to be a bit pricey. The Anova Precision Cooker aims to bring sous-vide into the more affordable end of the spectrum with a self-contained unit that turns an ordinary cook pot into a sous-vide appliance.
A household full of smart, connected appliances could have benefits beyond waking up in a toasty warm house to the smell of freshly brewed coffee. As part of his Addicted Products project, Italian product designer Simone Rebaudengo has created a connected toaster that becomes unhappy when it goes unused, drawing attention to areas where e-waste
can be reduced.
LG had plenty of eye-catching gadgets at this year's CES, from a massive 105-inch curved 4K display
to the bendable G Flex
mobile phone, but probably one of the most intriguing new innovations it revealed was the upcoming HomeChat service. LG HomeChat will allow users to issue commands and receive status updates from their smart appliances by texting them and using simple, conversational language. According to the company, you will literally be able to ask your washer "What're you doing?" or your fridge “Do we have beer?” and they will respond just as a person would.