Digital Crave

Home smart home: Gadgets to increase your abode’s IQ

Marc Saltzman
Digital Crave

View gallery

.
Smart gadgets

If you thought your smartphone was the only gadget with brains in your home, wait 'til you get a load of your next dishwasher (that texts you when it's done), baby monitor (with wireless video access) and lights that turn off (when you leave the room).

There's no shortage of smart devices for today's homes, and if your bank account is as big as your ambition, so the following are a handful of ideas to consider.

Smart fridge

We've seen Internet-enabled refrigerators in the past but Samsung's latest — the RF4289 (US $2,999) — goes one step further with integrated Wi-Fi connectivity and support for multiple apps on the 8-inch LCD touchscreen, just like your smartphone or tablet. Who needs apps on a fridge, you say? How about tapping and flicking through Epicurious recipes, Facebook profiles while you're waiting for your baking to be done, Weatherbug forecasts, AP news, Picasa photos, streaming Spotify music and a Google Calendar to keep the family organized. The four-door fridge offers 28 cubic feet of storage and ultra-bright but energy-efficient LED lighting.

View gallery

.

Smart thermostat

Nest ($249) is a "learning thermostat" that helps you save money on electricity at home as it can automatically turn itself down when you're away and guide you to energy-efficient temperatures when you're at home. Through a combination of sensors, algorithms, machine learning and cloud computing, Nest can save you up to 20 percent on your home heating and cooling bills, says the company. You can also make adjustments remotely over the Internet via a free app, if desired.

Smart table

Now this is a table worth pulling up to. Samsung's SUR40 ($7,599) is Microsoft's second-gen multitouch table measuring just 4-inches thick, yet it houses a Full HD 1080p 40-inch display covered with a sheet of toughened Gorilla Glass. Unlike the first Surface table, the SUR40 doesn't use cameras underneath the table to recognize finger-touches — instead Microsoft's PixelSense technology can handle more than 50 simultaneous touch-points from fingers, hands and objects. Imagine sitting with your family after a vacation, flicking digital photos back and forth between each other, so everyone can pik their favorite to create a family slideshow for YouTube.

View gallery

.
Smart TV

Fusing the Internet with a big-screen television, Smart TVs offer hundreds of apps to populate your screen with, wireless connectivity with other devices in your home (laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.) and a full web browser in which to surf with your feet up on the coffee table. LG's 55-inch Cinema 3D Smart TV (model # LM8600; $1,545) has these features, along with the ability to control content with your voice or gestures, Skype calling and Dual Play technology that lets two gamers who don 3D glasses see an entire screen with their own unique view of the action (bye-bye lame split-screen play).

Smart vacuum

The iRobot Roomba 630 ($349.99) is one of those vacuum cleaning robots that can go about your home and suck up dirt, crumbs and pet hair off carpet, hardwood, tile or laminate. Simply plug in the iRobot to charge it up and when you leave for the day, turn it on and let it do its job. As the most affordable of all Roomba products, the 630 chooses from dozens of decisions more than 60 times per second to clean efficiently, whether it's to go over an area again, tuck into areas not easy to clean (under beds, couches) or hug walls and counters as it makes its way around the premises.

View gallery

.
Smart faucet

More smart tech for the kitchen: Delta's Pilar pull-down kitchen faucet (about $400) features Touch2O technology, which lets you touch anywhere on the faucet with a part of your body — say, you're elbow or forearm because you just touched raw chicken with your hands — to start and stop the flow of water. Some of the bathroom faucets from this company have a proximity sensor, so you don't need to touch anything at all to turn it on, and it will shut off automatically, too. Those who turn off the water flow every time they brush will save nine gallons of water every day (if they brush three times a day for a minimum of two minutes).

Smart mirror

When is a mirror not just a mirror? When it's also a television, of course. The Hidden Vision by Aeria ($2,399) is a 42-inch commercial-grade LG LCD TV you can mount to your wall like any other television. But as its name suggests, when you turn off the 1-inch thick TV, it becomes a reflective mirror. In fact, you wouldn't even know it was a TV when it's not displaying a picture. Aeria also offers waterproof mirrored TVs for the outdoors and for the bathroom: some models replace your existing bathroom mirror, allowing you to watch the news while you shave or brush your teeth, while others can be mounted in a shower.

View gallery

.

Smart alarm clock

If you're having trouble getting up for work or school, perhaps all you need is a smarter alarm clock? Cruel and cool at the same time, the Clocky ($39) -- when it goes off — rolls off your night table and quickly moves around with its large, rubber legs and durable body. The only way you can turn off its loud alarm is to find where the Clocky rolled, such as under the bed or across the room — and by the time you do this, you're awake and ready for the day. At least you can set this mobile alarm clock to snooze once before it takes off on you. The Clocky is available in multiple colors.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Defense Secretary Mattis' first message to the troops tells you everything you need to know about his leadership style

      Defense Secretary James Mattis put out his first all-hands message to everyone in the...

      Business Insider
    • The letter I had to write to my child’s teacher

      I was only in the classroom for 45 minutes, but that was long enough to compel me to write a letter to the teacher once I left. I’ll be honest, I have zero qualifications as it relates to child education. My only qualification and reason for being in a kindergarten class that day is my oldest child is a kindergartner. He attends a public school and I was in his classroom as a parent volunteer. His teacher had asked parents to sign up to help during the daily Literacy Center portion of the morning. I was excited to go in, see my son in his classroom, and meet his classmates. When I arrived, the class was sitting on the floor, singing, and drawing the alphabet in the air with their fingers. Mrs.

      Washington Post q
    • Barack and Michelle Obama Enjoy a Post-Presidency Vacation in the British Virgin Islands

      The former first couple departed Washington D.C. on Friday following the inauguration of President Donald Trump. The Obamas headed to Palm Springs, California, where they enjoyed a brief stay at the Rancho Mirage home of James Costos, ambassador to Spain and Angora under President Obama, and Los Angeles–based interior designer Michael S. Smith, who redecorated the White House while the Obamas lived there.

      People
    • Johnny Galecki Explains Why Leonard Wears Lensless Glasses In ‘Big Bang Theory’

      Johnny Galecki recently explained why Leonard’s glasses don’t have lenses in “Big Bang Theory” Season 10.

      International Business Times
    • It rained so hard at Disneyland yesterday, the park looks like it’s completely abandoned

      Southern California is experiencing some very heavy rain right now, and it’s odd. Usually, the lower half of the Golden State is…

      Hello Giggles
    • Cosmopolitan
    • Cab driver says John Elway is greatest QB ever, has no idea he’s in the back seat

      Cab driver Sam Snow couldn’t say enough good things about John Elway...but he didn’t realize the Broncos legend was right there in the back seat.

      Sports Illustrated
    • Highly contagious stomach flu rips through US schools

      They went down like dominoes in Aimee Romero’s household. First her 5-year-old daughter came home sick from school. Hours later her 8-year-old son started vomiting every 20 minutes for six hours. Next she started feeling sick. Two days later, it was her husband’s turn. The Romero family in Greentown, Ind., caught norovirus. Among the most contagious of all viruses, it is striking hard this winter, immobilizing families and even prompting schools to shut down due to student absences. The Eastern Howard School Corporation in Indiana, where Ms. Romero’s children go, closed on Tuesday after 27 percent of the elementary-school children had been out sick the prior Friday. One school nurse fell ill

      Fox News q
    • The Elephant Lurking Behind India's Currency Drought, And Why We Should Be Talking About It

      The story thus far is as follows: India has, and always has had, an enormous problem due to rampant corruption and illegal/undeclared/non-taxed wealth, a bulk of which is thought to be stored as physical cash. Since decades of trying to curb the menace through enforcement has gone without much success, the current government decided to attempt to tackle the problem through “the other end;” i.e., by declaring that the largest denominations of currency would be replaced by new currency notes within a few months (“de-monetized”), and allowing the population to exchange the “old” cash held physically, for new currency notes in a regulated manner, which would result in the weeding out of this illegal cash, since this would not be brought back into the system by the holders who would be unable to tie the wealth to a legal and reasonable source.

      Forbes q
    • Kylie Jenner Shows Off Flawless Figure in Latest Puma Ads

      Jenner's partnership with Puma is going full steam ahead with new publicity shots that were released on Monday.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Trump administration places horse 'soring' ban on hold

      WASHINGTON – A federal regulation finalized in the waning days of the Obama administration to end the abusive practice of horse soring is on hold. Just one week before President Barack Obama left office, the Department of Agriculture announced it had finalized a new regulation to update the Horse Protection Act. To become effective, the rule must be published in the Federal Register. The new rule was supposed to be published Tuesday. But on President Donald Trump’s first day in office last Friday, the White House issued a memorandum for all unpublished rules to be withdrawn and sent back to the relevant agency for review. “They pretty much put a hold on it,” said Keith Dane, senior adviser for

      The Tennessean q
    • Monica Lewinsky Speaks Up for Barron Trump as SNL Writer Is Suspended for Mocking the President’s 10-Year-Old Son

      Saturday Night Live writer Katie Rich has been suspended after posting a negative tweet mocking Donald Trump‘s 10-year-old son, Barron. Although all past tweets have since been deleted, Rich issued an apology to her Twitter account on Monday. After learning about the cyberbullying that was aimed at Barron, Monica Lewinsky came to the defense of Donald’s youngest son.

      People
    • Get a First Look at the Palm Springs Home Where the Obamas Are Vacationing Right Now

      After handing over the keys to the White House to President Trump on Friday, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama retreated to this stunning 11,000-square-foot stucco home in the Palm Springs area of Southern California for a little time off. Built in the early 1970s by architect Howard Lapham, the home (nicknamed Icha Mayapan, or “exclusive estate”) is a standout example of Mayan Revival design, a popular midcentury style influenced by several Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes from the 1920s, including the Hollyhock and Ennis houses in Los Angeles. Its current owners, James Costos, ambassador to Spain and Angora under President Obama, and L.A.-based designer Michael S. Smith, who also redecorated the White House while the Obamas lived there, restored the home several years ago.

      People
    • Giant underwater goddess found off Turkish coast in ancient shipwreck

      A giant goddess sculpture has been found on the sea floor off the south-western coast of Turkey. The 2,700-year-old artefact was found by archaeologists investigating the contents of a 43m deep shipwreck uncovered in November 2016. Researchers from Dokuz Eylül University sifted through an area of approximately 300 sq ft off the coast of Bozburun, in Turkey's Marmaris district, hoping to uncover Mediterranean relics.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Amy Smart revealed that she had her baby through a surrogate, and here’s why that’s important

      Fertility issues are a widely experienced — but seldom discussed — part of life. All too often women are ashamed or embarrassed to…

      Hello Giggles
    • John Elway Surprised A Cab Driver Who Had Just Named The Broncos GM The Best Quarterback Ever

      If there’s one thing cab drivers are opinionated about, it’s sports. Maybe it’s because they listen to sports talk radio while they’re driving around, but many cabbies (and Uber and Lyft drivers) love nothing more than asking or telling you who you think is going to win it all this year, or who’s the best at such and such. Elway and his wife were in town with mortgage magnate Glenn Stearns and his wife to attend Donald Trump’s inauguration when the Stearnses seemingly initiated a conversation about who the cab driver, named Sam Snow, thought was the best to ever throw a pigskin.

      UPROXX
    • 10 Shocking Confessions from Nannies

      "I put a hat on her until the swelling went down and stayed awake with her all night for the next 3 nights to make sure she didn't have a seizure or stop breathing."

      Redbook
    • Best Vanguard Funds for Your Retirement Nest Egg

      Vanguard is the biggest fund company in the land, with more than $3 trillion in assets. Thirty-four Vanguard funds appear on a list of the 105 most popular mutual funds in employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. No other fund company comes close.

      Kiplinger
    • Break up the unstoppable Philadelphia 76ers

      John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

      SB Nation q
    • Attempted Murderer ‘So Proud of Herself’ After Randomly Stabbing Nurse 21 Times

      Pearl Moen, who was 17 at the time of the seemingly random November 2015 attack in Austin, Texas, will serve 15 years behind bars, the Travis County District Attorney said in a news release. Prosecutors said Moen’s diary entries show she stabbed her 23-year-old victim, a nurse, because she wanted to see what it would feel like to kill someone. Moen has a history of drug use and psychological issues but no previous criminal record, the DA’s office said.

      People