The bathroom has to be one of the filthiest places in the world. Not just what we do there, but all the invisible germs lurking about on the handles, knobs and walls. Take a blacklight to a bathroom wall next time. Prepare to be sickened.
Kohler gives users a chance to eliminate ever needing to touch their toilet handle. The Kohler Touchless Toilet comes as a kit or pre-installed toilet. While self-flushing toilets aren’t anything new, Kohler’s model for the home relies on electromagnetic technology. The toilet senses the user’s hand over the toilet and proceeds to give that bowl a nice swirl.
The kit runs about $100. Installation is a breeze and runs on 4AA batteries, which last 6-12 months (depending on usage of course). Hopefully, they invent voice-activated flushing next. Siri, flush my bowl. Siri, wipe my butt. Siri..I’m..so alone.
Yet another option now exists for people who are looking to simplify, or let’s face it, more appropriately, cool-ify their home lighting. Plugaway’s Wi-Fi connected plugs and LED lightbulbs let you use your Android or iOS device to remotely dim your lights, turn them on or off, and do the same for your appliances too. Plugaway also can keep tabs on your electricity consumption, put your appliances on a schedule, and send you notifications. The Plugaway system consists of smart plugs ($30) and smart LEDs (about $90), no expensive bridges necessary.
Spotter ($50) is a multi-purpose sensor that measure the temperature, humidity, light, sound, and motion in your home, letting you connect, control and monitor just about everything. Want your lights to automatically turn on when someone knocks on your door? Sure. Want an alert when your wine cellar is too warm? Wait. You have a wine cellar!? Wow. OK. Huh. Anyways, yes, as you might imagine, Spotter works with your smartphone, so ya know, you’ll need to pry yourself away from your 1978 Montrachet for a moment. Sorry, I just can’t let this wine cellar thing go.
Normally, “Hands-off” is right up there with “I’ll have the surprisingly expensive lobster and steak, please” when it comes to the worst words you can hear from your date. But in this case, with the Revolv home automation hub ($300), hands-off is pretty darn delightful. Revolv promises to set all your home’s devices in motion whenever you want them. So, like in this clever video, if you want your sprinklers off, lights on, music up, and thermostat down as you walk to your front door, it shall be done.
The Roomba and Scooba have cool names, and yes, as far as robotic floor and rug cleaners, they were indeed groundbreaking. But Moneual’s new Rydis H67 ($400) promises to suck the hell out of your dirty carpet, then mop the funk of your hard floors. When the mopping pad is attached, the H67 recognizes that and avoids all carpeted surfaces. It can mop for five hours straight with a fully charged battery, then returns to its charging station when it’s running low.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are pretty low on the list of cool tech toys (“Here ya go, Sal! Plus I even threw in a sweet 9-volt battery!”), but that’s about to change. From Nest Labs, the makers of the critically acclaimed Nest Thermostat, comes the Nest Protect ($129), a smarter and much hipper way to safeguard your people and your stuff. It features a soothing female voice (choose from 3 languages) that lets you know when its batteries are low or the CO levels are high. It also recognizes movement, letting you preemptively wave it off if you simply burnt a piece of toast. Toast: so hard to get right, yet so easy to see Jesus in.
Now here’s a way to throw shade without hurting anyone’s feelings. SONTE Film ($65) is a Wi-Fi enabled digital shade that instantly turns your windows from opaque to clear with just the tap of your smartphone. Choose from red or black and boost your privacy, UV and infrared protection, and energy savings, all while finding another way to mess with your phone. The future looks shady.
::sniffs the air:: Ah, the great indoors; that magical land of gaming, web surfing, and bed lounging. But even paradise needs improving now and then. CubeSensors ($249 for a pair) are small, cordless, connected devices that strive to make your indoor living even better by constantly measuring the temperature, humidity, noise, light, air quality and barometric pressure of the room you’re in. That data is analyzed, and alerts and recommendations on how you can improve your environment are then sent to you. Because any day where the sun misses our pale ass is a good day in our book.