As the new year heats up, so do the latest roll-outs in digital and smart home technology. Compared to some of the new kids on the block, RoboVacs from past years might as well hang up their wheels and move in with the push broom.
Smart Furniture Turns It Up
The ubiquitous end table gets a major overhaul in 2018 and graduates from just above egg crate, to a sleek useful tool that’s one step away from a server robot. Take the Sobro brand that’s ushering in the future with its line of tables. These units sport touch panels to control electronic devices, integrated Bluetooth speakers, and built-in refrigerator drawers for binge-watching or entertaining. Electronic devices fit right into the USB charging ports or (in some models) wireless charging stations.
Smart Stoves Get Connected
Though a personal chef hasn’t been packed into a range just yet, the science is there in the rampant burst of digital integration of phones, computers, televisions, and coffee pots. Amazon’s Alexa is just a peek at what’s coming up. General Electric has begun to get the old kitchen in on the action with its line of WiFi connected wall stove and full ranges. According to GE, a person can direct their stove via their phone to preheat the oven on the way home from work, change the oven temperature from anywhere, and adjust cooking times and temperature while watching TV.
Laundry Just Got Interesting
FoldiMate is one of those contraptions you wanted someone to invent forty years ago. Is it Rosie the Robot from the Jetsons with her torso that could do magical things with household drudgery? This automatic clothes folder comes close. Feed it fabric and it returns a perfectly smooth, stacked origami pile. It takes the old out of fold and replaces it with too much fun. FoldiMate makes a bold claim that laundry folding is completed in less time than it takes to brew a cup of coffee, and it consumes very little energy to do the heavy lifting. This machine might not be connected to the Internet, but it’s smart nonetheless.
Automation Goes Beyond Thermostats
An upsurge in digital tech aimed at homeowners has expanded from the simple, timed gadgets that controlled the holiday lights. The big promises made by automation are reducing costs and saving time by having the tech learn your habits. Digital locks with keyless entry can be controlled on or off premises. Climate controls adjust when people are home and when they are out. ADT features alarms, automatic security, and even smoke detectors in their automation programs.
As chips get smaller and communication integrates, the gadgets get better, faster, stronger, and smarter. These hybrids of old and new are riding the coattails of the high-techs featured in speculative movies and may surpass them faster than anyone imagined.