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Appliances

In a clear statement that it believes the future of the home is a connected one, Google today announced its acquisition of smart device company Nest for US$3.2 billion. Following the success of its Learning Thermostat in 2011, Nest introduced its Protect smoke alarm last year, resulting in a line of products that has caught the eye of Google CEO Larry Page. Read More

Signalling that Apple's Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad (MFi) certification may be set to play a bigger role in ushering in the "Internet of Things," Haier has unveiled the first white good to be certified by the MFi program, a smart air conditioner. Read More

Wouldn't it be nice to have a digital house elf that handles the operation of all your various electronic devices? That's what the Ninja Sphere aims to be, a one stop intelligent hub designed to add your various household devices to the Internet of Things. Like other home automation systems, such as Revolv, Ninja Sphere can monitor and allow the remote control of connected devices, but offers expanded capabilities with its gesture control interface and the ability to map the location of devices in the home in real time. Read More
Fancy coming home to find a swarm of flying mini robots doing your cleaning? That's the futuristic picture of domestic bliss envisioned by young Colombian designer Adrian Perez Zapata, whose Mab concept has trumped over 1,700 entries from 60 countries to win this year's Electrolux Design Lab competition. Here's a look at Mab and the other seven finalists for 2013. Read More
Say you're a former Apple engineer and VP. Now say you leave the company, but you just can't shake your hankerin' to take clunky products, simplify them, and make them consumer-friendly. What do you do? Well, if you're Tony Fadell, then you found your own company that gives boring and complicated home sensors an Apple-like makeover. After finding success with its Nest thermostat, Fadell's Nest Labs is now expanding into the realm of smoke alarms. Read More
Siemens got the ball rolling at the 2013 IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin today, using the first press conference of the event to unveil a new model that features “vacuumTechnology.” There are no prizes for guessing that this involves using a vacuum to keep food fresher, longer. Read More
Flies are usually considered unwelcome guests in the kitchen, but one industrial designer is aiming to turn them into a renewable food source. Katharina Unger's Farm 432 concept is a fly-breeding device for home use that continually collects fly larva as a protein source for less squeamish diners. As unappetizing as it may sound, the designer hopes that convincing the Western world to add insects to its diet could help increase the planet's overall food supply. Read More
Here at Gizmag we've featured a variety of home energy management devices, and the latest solution is an offering from Spanish startup, Wattio. The SmartHome 360º is a home energy monitoring and control system that can be managed through a smartphone, tablet or PC using the Wattio Gateway software. The system's four components are capable of communicating with each other and subsequently with the Wattio software applications and cloud service, to provide comprehensive energy management capability throughout the home. Read More
In recent years, repairing and upgrading electronics has largely given way to a trend of disposable gadgets which fill up landfills – especially with regard to home appliances like coffee makers and toasters. However, French designer Gaspard Tiné-Berès proposes to repair and re-use discarded and damaged appliances, with readily available reclaimed materials providing the necessary components, and the bodies constructed from cork. Read More

Compact4All is a space-saving kitchen appliance for breakfast lovers. Designed by Jan des Bouvrie for the Dutch domestic appliance firm Princess, the appliance features four white cubes containing a kettle, toaster, coffee maker and juicer. Each cube measures 20 x 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 x 8 inches), and they can be stacked neatly together to form one single cube or alternatively positioned side by side. Read More

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