Monday, February 29, 2016 / by Kimo Quance
[caption id="attachment_658" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Talk about Quality Sound![/caption]
The annual Consumer Electronic Show (CES) never ceases to amaze me with the out-there technology that manufacturers are constantly cooming up with. At 2015's CES, we saw the introduction of people-sensing drones, battery-swapping scooters, even smart beds for kids! But one of the more unusual 'products' shown was Toshiba's Chihiraaico robot, a very realistic-looking “communication Android” hostess. She is designed to make conversation and entertain; she even makes human-like hand movements as she converses with you. Toshiba hopes this kind of robot will be able to help the elderly and infirm, in the future.
2016 was referred to as the Year of the wearable, with wearables and other health-themed gadgets dominating the event. Following the success of their activity tracker, Fitbit launched the Fitbit Blaze. Hoping to kill two birds with one stone, the Blaze is designed to function as a hybrid smartwatch and activity tracker. HTC partnered with UnderArmor to launch the UA Healthbox. Containing the UA band, UA scale and UA heart rate monitor, the kit aims to deliver all you need to accurately monitor your health and fitness.
But CES 2016 wasn't all about the fitness buffs, the trend towards creating smarter homes also had led to quite a few new gadgets popping up. LG has shown off one smart home appliance or the other for a number of years now, and in 2016, they didn't disappoint.
The LG 'Signature' fridge has a slightly opaque panel that shows you which groceries are left in your fridge. The fridge can also 'detect' your presence with sensors near its base and will automatically open the door when you step close to it. Not to be outdone, Samsung also showed off a smart fridge that has a 'built-in' grocery store allowing users order items as soon as they run out. #WOW
Speaking of outlandish gadgets in our homes, exactly where do we draw the line between absolutely necessary and simply mind-blowing? Did you ever think you'd need a strawberry slicer, to get perfectly uniform pieces for a tart or a display? Or a tool that peels and literally sharpens carrots? Or the one-click stick butter cutter to slice perfect squares of butter for your morning toast or waffles?
For the geekier home owner, how about a smart egg minder? This smart egg carton helps to keep track of your egg inventory, and alerts you on your smart phone when you are running low on eggs!
Impressed? Here are a few more totally outlandish (we're not sure how practical they are yet) gadgets you can buy today.
The Drop Kitchen Scale: If you thought the pineapple corer was too mundane, how about the Drop kitchen scale? This smart kitchen scale does much more than weighing out quantities for your recipes. It also comes with an app and a huge recipe book. Used in connection with the scale, this gadget guides you through recipes and can even adjust ingredient amounts if you don't have enough of something.
The Foodini: But what if you can't be bothered with all that measuring and preparation? The Foodini is a 3-D printer that ensures that preparation, the most discouraging aspect of making meals, is totally eliminated. Now you can bake a whole batch of cookies at once, and by using the internal library of designs and shapes, make your food creations simply gorgeous. The Foodini is also programmed to print fresh ingredients every time, so you always create healthy and hearty meals.
Many homeowners love to spend time in their garden; it's their very own oasis of peace. With the right shedquarters on one side, they find they can have work and play, side by side, in their own backyard. But how can you keep the grass green and lush, especially with the water shortage in California?
The Parrot Flower Power Plant sensor: One way is to simply stick the Parrot Power sensor in a pot or in the ground next to your plants. From there, it can monitor sunlight, temperature and moisture. If any of these need your attention, it sends a alerts to an app on your smartphone.
The Worx Landroid: Now, with your grass growing lush, how do you manage to keep it trimmed, without spending hours in the sun? The Worx Landroid to the rescue! This is a pre-programmable robotic lawn mower that allows you customize your daily mowing, and get that perfect manicured look for your lawn. It can run 7 days a week and give your grass a trim on a regular basis.
The Worx Landroid cuts with precision, and does all this without any harmful emission, as it runs on a 28v rechargeable battery. Talk about hassle-free gardening!
One part of the home that male homeowners, love to spend time (and money) on is their man-cave. Whether it's a converted garden shed, basement or garage, most men spare no expense when it comes to fixing up their man cave.
Many man caves have a pool table, but why spend a few hundred dollars on a regular pool table, when you can buy a 1965 Shelby GT-350 pool table. It's perfect for the true classic car collector and is a real collectors item as only a limited number were produced.
The Beolab 90 by Bang & Olufsen: And for those who love their sound, please ditch those cheap speakers; it's time to bring the roof down with the Beolab 90 by Bang & Olufsen. These loudspeakers are designed to ensure optimum precision of sound. Its design offers a 360-degree sound output; and it's innovative aesthetics ensures that it looks as good as it sounds.
Thanks to technology like Active Room Compensation and Beam Width Control, the speaker makes sure that any reflections in your room will not affect the sound quality. Plus you can control all settings from a mobile app, allowing you take your home audio experience to majestic heights.
Wheew! These are only a small selection of the wonderful and weird gadgets that are available to buy now. Which do you think your home needs, like yesterday? We know we've got our eyes on quite a few items. While not all these gadgets are very practical or absolutely necessary, but at the current rate of tech advancement, we can see the dream of having the ultimate connected home, becoming a reality pretty soon.
Do you think there is a real future for smart, gadget-controlled homes?