Unusual? Maybe. Useful? Definitely. The new gadgets that connect your home.
For decades, people have dreamed of the future and all the quirky, amazing technologies that may reveal themselves as we hurtle through time. The 1960s family cartoon, The Jetsons depicted an almost fully automated world, with all manner of gadgets to help the average person live their life – flying cars, jetpacks, robotic maids, smart shoes and even 3D-printed food (all of which are actually available in 2017).
So, just how much could you ‘Jetsonify’ your home? CES 2017 delivered some seriously clever technology that, together with Optus home broadband, can connect your home online in ways you never thought possible. Check them out:
5. The Smarter FridgeCam
The ‘internet fridge’ was one of the first major kitchen appliances to get internet connectivity, but the FridgeCam – well, this takes the humble fridge to exciting new heights.
FridgeCam’s mantra is simple; it makes your old fridge smart. Essentially a super camera that sits on a shelf in your existing refrigerator, it utilises food recognition software to track what’s in your fridge, suggest recipes accordingly, and it can save you from wasting food. You can scan food barcodes and add non-barcoded produce items via the FridgeCam app (which connects over Wi-Fi), and you will receive notifications based on when the food is close to expiring. And, every time you open and close the fridge, the camera will snap a photo and update the contents. Neat!
Available for pre-order; coming in April 2017.
4. The HiMirror Plus
Mirror, mirror, with an app – please don’t tell me my face is crap.
The HiMirror Plus is the brutally honest connected mirror, which will scan your face and tell you exactly what is wrong with it. It will look for wrinkles, fine lines, red spots and enlarged pores, and can rate each part of your skin out of 100, with a score of 100 representing skin perfection. Why would someone want this, you ask? Its main function is to track the success of beauty products effect on your skin, so you can see what is improving your complexion and what isn’t. If you’ve a masochistic streak, you can also watch yourself slowly age.
The HiMirror Plus also functions as a streaming device, so you can play music on Spotify or YouTube videos while getting ready for a night out.
3. Mattel’s Aristotle
If parenting is getting a bit old hat (or if your children have stopped listening to you) Mattel have created an outsourcing option that might do the trick.
Aristotle is a digital home assistant, designed specifically to help with young children and babies. Featuring two AI personalities, the first will complete tasks such as reading bedtime stories, answering children’s questions and playing games. The second, which is essentially Amazon’s Alexa, is for adults and can help with general device operation and ordering products like baby food and nappies.
The device comes bundled with an internet-connected camera, for use as a baby monitor. On-board object recognition also brings about the possibility of interaction with other Mattel products.
… Did Toy Story just become real?
Available June 2017
With all these devices needing Wi-Fi access in your home, you’re going to need a router that is up to the task.
Linksys has developed a tri-band router system to rival all others, and the multi-unit setup is designed to deliver your home the best and fastest-possible Wi-Fi signal in all areas of the house.
The units themselves are a little bulky, but for performance and ease-of-use (with setup handled through a simple companion app) Linksys have come up with the goods.
Available in Australia early April.
For breastfeeding mums everywhere, this product promises things you never thought possible from a breast pump.
The tubeless, hands-free system is quieter than conventional breast pumps, and more discrete. It is said to reduce the discomfort associated with pumping, resting under the bra and collecting milk in bags within the pump itself. Capable of storing approximately 120ml per bag, the Bluetooth system connects to a companion app that records the amount of milk stored, time spent pumping and the collection date. Wow.
Coming soon. Sign up on the Willow website for release notifications.
Connect your home your way, with Optus home broadband.