For the second installment of our “connected” objects series, we are targeting the place closest to your heart: the home! Take a quick stroll with us around the familiar rooms you sleep, eat and relax in, as we show you the many possibilities of smartening up the place. There is a rising group of gadgets that actively want to be part of your kitchen, living room, and even your bathroom — and they are here to stay!
Meet Mellow, the kitchen robot with a delicious sous-vide twist. For those who are unfamiliar with this culinary term, it refers to the method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath or in a temperature-controlled steam environment for longer-than-normal cooking times (up to 72 hours). The result is a gastronomical masterpiece: a properly cooked inside without the outside being overcooked, and the moisture of the dish fully retained. In this spirit, Mellow makes cooking processes even easier by cooking the ingredients to perfection without the presence of an actual chef.
While it does resemble the precision cooking line from Anova Culinary, Mellow takes it a step forward with its integrated connectivity to the mobile device. This nifty gadget takes orders through the paired smartphone app, and keeps food at the ideal temperature until it is the exact time to start cooking. Imagine keeping your salmon chilled until it is ready to peak for dinnertime, or your poached eggs at the room temperature until you are fully awake for breakfast. You are able to customize your cooking time to your own pace, and Mellow aids without comprising on taste or nutrients. It is big enough to handle up to six portions at a time, has a refrigeration system, weight sensor, built in wifi, compatible with both iOS and Android platforms, and no vacuum sealer is needed.
All you need is water and a bag to transform the kitchen experience into smart cooking at a personal level, with the bonus opportunity to cook at the right time, in the right place. The machines starts retailing for $400 on their website here, with the first batch due for delivery starting early 2015.
All that talk about water cooking certain gets us thirsty for some drinks, and Project Gutenberg is here to redesign the way we look at our personal cocktail libraries. Conceived and developed by the Breakthrough Innovation Group (BIG) in collaboration with French spirits maker Pernod Ricard, this is a slick recreation of the “home bar” concept, with designer library made up of “container books” each holding a sealed bottle of spirits, all connected to a service platform compatible with smart devices. The platform app will allow societal features such as basic home delivery and tutorials about mixology (eg. cocktail recipes), therefore turning any cocktail party up a notch.
Features include small pumps inside each “container book” to dispense the potent potables into glasses when called for, and an intelligent base station that controls the whole thing to ensure precisely measured portions of hard liquors are deposited into a shaker to make the perfect cocktail. To the group behind the innovative design, it is all about redefining cocktail culture and turning it into a more accessible experience involving more expertise. Blending alcohol, apps, and an unusual design to make drinking not only more fun, but also more educational; this will prove to impact at-home cocktail experiences. The mechanism behind will also ensure that users drink responsibly and efficiently consecutively, making the host’s job a little easier into the night.
One of the many things present in a home would be the essential mirror on the wall, and we have just the gadget alternative for you to place into any bathroom. The Cybertecture Mirror is a reflective mirror with programmable applications and digital display for any environmental demands. Other than embodying the basic mirror function, it is also seamlessly connected with the Internet via wireless communication technology; integrated with a visual reflective display to augment reflections with interactive information, customizable for specific functions; and optimized for user control. It can be controlled via the remote control or smartphones to deliver useful information, monitor health signals via its peripheral sensor pad, and aid with the communication between users and their desktops, phones and any other personal digital assistants.
We are talking about a smart mirror with a touch screen surface and the ability to connect different platforms together — and keep everything password protected. The usage possibilities for this mirror goes beyond checking the reflection out: reviewing health statues, providing entertainment by seamlessly streaming motion programs, accessing information all over the web at your convenience, recording and checking your form throughout the day; and even connecting to social media channels at the liberty of the screen! The Cybertecture Mirror also comes with its own web interface, and all the information can be controlled, customized, and stored in individual web portals for its users. It is currently available in two colors for the casing (white and black), and it can contain a maximum of twenty profiles per mirror!
Let’s wrap things up with something a little lighter, and a whole deal smarter. Emberlight is here to turn any light into a smart light to ensure completely moldable light options over existing wifi and phone options automated with proximity awareness. Directly connecting the hub to your smartphone, it gives you the ability to achieve simple lighting control (eg. switching on and off lights), visibility of what lights are in used in which rooms, enhanced experiences with mood settings, energy savings, security and remote access. All you have to do is screw in the bulb of your choice into Emberlight, configure the wifi settings, and start a whole new lighting experience!
Emberlight can also be a cool addition to any room with its ability to configure to the smartphone settings. Imagine getting a good rise-and-shine pattern with lights that dim up just like the sunrise, all according to your alarm; or automatic brightness when you are nearby the various light sources, seamlessly calculated from the distance sensors. All at once, it is easy to setup, use and understand. The hub retails for a starting price of $49 on their current Kickstarter page, so be sure to check them out for new updates!
There are days when it really shows that home is where the gadgets are, and it is always for a better cause to improve the lifestyle and environment of the place you’ve invested yourself in. Like they said, there is no place like home, and there is always time to start connecting with your home on a smarter level!