What’s the Latest in SmartHome Technology?

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.

Diffuser Technologies for a More Natural Home

These days you can’t surf the net or social media without happening upon some mention of diffusers and essential oils. There is a reason behind this fad though. Essential oils have been found to be beneficial for a host of discomforts. From skin blemishes and stress to weight loss, head tension, and more, essential oils are great in not only freshening the air, but benefitting general health. The list of uses is endless and fascinating.

The Diffusers

Diffusers are necessary if you want to reap the benefits of these oils as many of them, when applied directly to the skin, can cause problems for those with sensitive skin. In addition to the beneficial properties of essential oils dispensed by diffusers, the aromas provided by a diffuser and diluted with water also purify and freshen the air in your home. Some models also humidify the air in your home, which can be very helpful,especially in the winter.

Artificial air fresheners, on the other hand, are rife with toxins that can increase risks of various health issues.

Available diffusers come in a variety of shapes and styles, from basic to highly decorative, and inexpensive to pretty pricey. Some use electricity to release the oil’s aroma, while some use reeds. Following is an overview of some of the best models out there.

Urpower 300ml Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser

This one gets great reviews. Customers love that it holds three times the capacity of other models, while the price is a fraction of similar diffusers. It will run for seven to eight hours and can be set to light up in seven different colors, but this feature can be turned off if desired. It shuts off automatically when it gets low on water and produces a wider spread of mist than others. Amazon.com offers this one for $21.99.

Urpower Essential Oil Diffuser 120ml Aromatherapy Diffuser

This is another good choice. It’s very much like the previous model but it doesn’t hold as much water so it won’t run as long. It doesn’t have as strong a mist either, but it’s still more than adequate. It only runs about three hours, but it can be set to run thirty seconds on and thirty seconds off. On this setting, it will run about six hours. It also offers different light settings and is available at Amazon for $18.99.

You can also make your own diffuser if you prefer. Treehugger.com gives instructions on making your own reed type diffuser, using any attractive container, bamboo skewers, diffuser reeds, alcohol, water, and your choice of essential oil plus a carrier oil.

Always be sure to use quality 100% essential oils in your diffuser to avoid clogging it and otherwise compromising its performance.