Tech accessory manufacturer Belkin’s WeMo range is designed to be a quick and simple route to home automation. It basically consists of a series of plug adaptors that can be switched on and off via an app on your tablet or smartphone and your home wifi.
You can also schedule when appliances come on, while a motion detector can also be added to trigger the lights in a room when someone enters. Because you only need a WeMo adaptor, the system is scalable to whatever range of lights and appliances you need. Making it a cheaper way to get your home automated.
The latest version of WeMo also allows you to monitor energy consumption through the adaptors so you can keep you bills down even when you’re away from home. While the WeMo Baby is a smart addition to the range using the same technology to turn your mobile device into a baby monitor.
Bang & Olufsen, maker of high-end entertainment systems, has recently set its sights on producing great sounding, interesting looking speakers for a younger, hipper market. The BeoPlay brand focuses more on cool headphones and music on the go than turning your living room into a cathedral of sound but is ahead of the game when it comes to connectivity.
The new A9 speaker looks a bit like a satellite dish thanks to Bang and Olufsen’s trademark minimalist styling. It’s almost a work of art, which is just as well since you can have it freestanding or hanging on the wall. Plus it comes with a couple of neat tricks. The first is called Magic Touch, which allows you to raise and lower the volume simply by sweeping your hand across the top edge of the speaker. The second, hidden within, is the ability to connect to your Premium Spotify account and stream your music direct from the cloud while you control it via the ubiquitous app. It promises to be so easy to use you could almost forget the £1,699 price tag.
Find out more: http://beoplay.com/Products/BeoplayA9
The fashion for 3D printing has been growing significantly in the past couple of years with the technology behind it becoming compact enough to fit into the average home. The idea of downloading and printing out objects from the internet is now a reality and set to become common place in the next few years.
At the moment you’ll find 3D printers in some specialist businesses while a handful of entrepreneurial ‘copy stores’ are opening on high streets across the globe. But now Microsoft has released a 3D printing app for Windows 8.1 meaning you can design and print your own objects at home.
The free 3D Builder app comes with a library of pre-defined objects and shapes, which can be easily combined and changed to produce new objects. The best thing is you don’t need a degree in CAD to use it although access to a 3D printer would be helpful.
Find out more: 3D Builder app for Windows
This being the 21st Century you don’t find many modern homes being built with their own wine cellar. But you can always add your own. The Spiral Cellar is a neat cylinder design that is a compact and striking way of adding room for up to 1,870 bottles of your favourite tipples.
Resembling a nuclear missile silo the cellar is watertight and can be accessed via an easy to operate trapdoor. So you could either hide it away like your own personal panic room or make a feature of it with a glass hatch. All you need is somewhere to dig and the best part of £30k.
Get a Spiral Cellar of your own: http://www.spiralcellars.co.uk/spiral-cellars2/
The bathroom was once an afterthought in many houses, something that has been seen as somewhere purely functional rather than something aesthetically pleasing. That has changed in the last 20 years as interior designers have challenged, not only the size and shape of traditional bathroom furniture, but even where it is located in the home. The bathroom has since become a byword for indulgence and many new concepts now reflect that.
Take Alexander Zhukovsky’s concept for the Bathsphere for example. Not only does his crystal clear, suspended glass sphere take the humble bath and place it centre stage, but by making it entirely transparent removes pretty much any barriers (and privacy) between two spaces. Promising a haven of tranquillity accompanied by a sense of weightlessness the idea is beautifully simple. Water is pumped in through the top, allowing it to double as a shower, and drained from the bottom.
Amazing to look at and sculptural in appearance it would be great to think that you could get in an out as elegantly as the execution of the idea. Somtething, along with how you’re supposed to clean it, that will only become apparent should Zhukovsky put it into production.
Find out more: http://aizzz.com/eng/
Don’t you just hate it when you have to wake up because of the blasted sunshine on your face? Not everyone is a morning person. Shutting out the light when you need a few more minutes of snoozing doesn’t have to be such a pain. Enter the ultimate lazy gizmo, radio controlled blinds.What’s that I hear? You don’t have the money to have these radio controlled blinds installed? Don’t be…Continue
Posted on January 12, 2011 at 8:00am