Gadgets are an exciting part of my everyday life. I have recently smartified my home and I am very happy with all the gadgets I had installed. Thanks to them I have a better sound management system in my house and also easy heating and light regulation. However, I just kept looking for more smart solutions that would make my household an even more comfortable place to live in. This is the selection of some of the most exciting gadgets out there that will make routine daily tasks effortless and also—and we all know how important this is—so much cooler!
Ubi – Give Your House a Chance to Listen
Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation (UCIC) designed and built a platform for voice and language interaction with the smart home devices and Internet services. Ubi integrates with Harmony, Nest (you can read more about Nest below), Smartthings, IFTTT, Wemo, Google Calendar and more, which makes such interaction amazingly seamless, secure and natural enables everyday objects to come alive. It's like Siri for your home!
This exciting project is the baby of three young innovators working out of Toronto. Leor Grebler, Amin Abdossalami and Mahyar Fotoohi believe that interaction with technology should be seamless and easy. Leor Grebler, CEO of UCIC, says:
Several years ago we were having lunch and thinking how people are going to be interacting with technology in next five to ten years and we were looking around seeing how people were really distracted by the very things that were supposed to make their lives easier. We thought to ourselves, there has to be a better way and that’s when we came up with the idea of Ubi.
Ubi can look up quick facts, send emails, text messages, play music or set reminders just by asking for it. Imagine you’re cooking and you don’t want to forget to check on the pasta (as I so often do!). You just ask Ubi to remind you in five minutes!
The Ubi also has sensors on it that can help you understand the environment. You can set up alerts and get notified if something unusual happens at your home. Ubi is able to control a number of devices that are connected to the internet which no other device can so comprehensibly achieve. It can also learn from your commands and develop patterns to better cater to your needs. That’s just amazing! Even Steve Wozniak, pioneer of personal computing, is impressed by it, saying that "Ubi represents freedom from wires and devices."
You can get Ubi for $399 which includes a free lifetime subscription to the Ubi portal, free shipping, online and telephone support and a 30-day happiness guarantee.
My full support goes to this amazing Toronto project, and I hope it will get a lot of satisfied customers and a chance to develop into an even more amazing gadget!
Nest – Keep Your Home Cozy at All Times
There are a number of intelligent thermostats that you can get these days. I had a 2Gig thermostat installed in my house as I wrote in my previous article about my smartified home. There is also another very exciting and impressive thermal regulation system for your home produced by Nest. Nest Thermostat is an intelligent thermal regulation system that consists of thermostats placed around your home that network together and provide you with the maximum comfort for the lowest possible energy footprint.
Installation is very easy and you don’t even need a specialist to do it for you. Just like Ubi, Nest is able to learn all the efficient temperatures within the week of the initial set up. After this time, you can rely on its memory to organize the temperature in your home on its own. The Auto-Away™ feature automatically turns to an energy-efficient away temperature when you’re gone.
In case you need to pop back home early, you can access the thermostat at all times and simply let it know that it’s time to preheat the house for you. The Nest system will let you know when it is most efficient to cut the temperature, since sometimes just one degree change in the temperature can save up to five per cent of the energy. The same applies for air-conditioning, which can be also regulated by Nest. For $249 it is one of the more expensive intelligent thermostats on the market, but it’s very well designed and incredibly effective. Another gadget to spark up your household!
Dyson 360 Eye™ robot – New Generation of Clean Floors
My friend asked me why I was so excited about this particular vacuum cleaner. He also has a smart vacuum cleaner and yes, sometimes it clogs or gets lost, but those are the glitches that you have to account for. Well, it seems that Dyson came up with a way to bypass those small but, over time, annoying little flaws that smart vacuums of this generation often have.
The revolution for me starts with the fact that the robot is not getting constantly lost. It scans its surroundings and picks up three reference points that it uses to triangulate its position in the room. (I know, the language totally reminds me of some spy movie too!)
We wanted this machine to be a genuine labour saving device. The heart of the machine is a digital motor. That’s another technology we’ve been developing for the last 16 years. It’s the same motor we use in our stick vacuum cleaners. It spins at very high speed and this incredibly powerful motor created great suction performance even though it’s lightweight and compact,
says Alex Knox, UK Design Director, Dyson. The new Dyson vacuum robot also has a cyclone technology from other Dyson vacuum cleaners which ensures great filtration and as a bonus it never clogs! How amazing is that? I hate when vacuum cleaners get clogged and either you end up covered in dust or spend half an hour dismantling the cleaner.
Last but not least, what I really like about the new Dyson robot is that it manages to overcome any doorstep very easily, and that’s just what I want from a cleaning gadget - to be simple, effective, independent and fast. So far it seems Dyson will provide these characteristics. Let’s wait for more consumer testing and see if Dyson will deliver.
Luna – Smart Bed for Smart Sleep
Your bed is probably one of the most important and maybe even one of your favourite places in your entire home. Your bed is essential, but it’s quite hard to call it smart. I don't mind investing money into quality mattresses that will keep me well rested, and Luna offers all the comfort you can think of for $235. Matteo Franceschetti, co-founder and CEO of Luna comments:
Sleep is so important for your health. It’s so important for your professional and personal life. Personally I have sleep problems and every night before going to sleep I don’t know if I will sleep well or not. So I approached my co-founder Massimo and said: Everything is becoming smarter and smarter but my bed is not improving.
The smart mattress cover is mobile controlled and will set personalized temperatures in each side of the bed, so you and your loved one can have a separate sleeping experience tailored just for you. It will track your heart rate, sleep phases and breathing rate without a need to attach anything to your body for the whole night. Luna can even wake you up at the right time in your sleep cycle so you don’t feel groggy after your naps! How cool is that? Luna is also communicating with the rest of your smart home and ensures your house is locked after you fall asleep, lights are off and the alarm clock is set, and it can turn on the coffee maker in the morning so when you hop out of your bed, there is a fresh pot waiting for you!
LAVi – Faucet for 21st Century
Faucet technology has changed very little over time. So we thought it’s a good idea if we just rethink what the modern faucet ought to do.
said Stephen Gregory, CEO.
And they really did. I never wanted these things from my faucet until I saw LAVi designers and engineers talking about it.
LAVi provides you with instant hot water–no more wasting perfectly good water. Makers guarantee a 50% minimum water savings at your sink! Now for $229 when I save so much water, that’s not bad at all. I have to say that I am very impressed with how they managed to improve this seemingly "as-good-as-it-gets" device.
It also runs on complete touch-free operation, adjusting flow rate, temperature and a pop-out drinking fountain. LAVi has WiFi connectivity for updates when the LAVi team brings in new software updates and it is available in over 250 colors and patterns for custom coordination with your very own bath decor. Now that is just amazing, I can imagine it in my bathroom instantly!
The world of home gadgets is incredibly varied and exciting and it's expanding with each day. If you think I've missed any interesting gadgets, let me know! I'm always open to trying out new things.
There will be a second part of my favourite smart home gadgets list so stay tuned!