Because I’m geeky but demanding about design, my attention has been drawn to high tech home products that look great but also offer improvements, updates or upgrades over what many of us use now. In the past I’ve written about No Touch Kitchen Sensor Faucets, Quooker’s Instant Hot Water tap, Dacor’s Discover Android Oven, and Robern’s lighted bathroom vanity drawers. And my post on Making Sense of LED Light Bulbs explored emerging technology in the lighting industry. But in the mix of holiday season deals (everything is at amazon.com where I can pay with points!) I was able to find four high tech home products that would definitely improve my electronic world – and perhaps yours.
Stainless Steel Sensor-Activated Lighted Mirror from Simplehuman [top] – A magnifying mirror is a necessity in my house both for Mr. AM and for myself. But we’ve only managed by adding drugstore quality magnifiers to the doors of our medicine chests. In the past, we found good lighted magnifying mirrors in hotels but those usually required hard wiring and a convenient spot for mounting – which we don’t have. So I was intrigued by this unwired mirror with a swivel head, fully adjustable height and no electrical connection. The big bonus is the ring of extra-bright LED illumination and the sensor feature that turns the light on when you use it and off when you move away. 5-year warranty. $176 from Simplehuman
Leviton’s T5630 Combination USB Charger and Wall Receptacle – Compatible with Apple products, other smart phones, cameras and an assortment of electronic devices, this combination USB and standard electrical outlet addresses the “charging station” mess by providing two USB ports in the top and a conventional outlet below. As the photo shows, the left USB port can be used for charging phones and the high speed port on the right handles tablets.
Given the size of charger adapters, plugging directly into the port helps each outlet accommodate three devices. I can think of three rooms which need one of these immediately – my home office, my bedroom and the guest room. These outlets are available at big box stores and elsewhere. Leviton T5630-W USB Charger/Tamper-Resistant Receptacle. About $20 each at Amazon.com
Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm – Known for its smart digital thermostat, Nest has launched a well designed smart smoke and Carbon Monoxide monitor. Those of us who’ve been traumatized by having to climb on a step ladder top reset a shrieking alarm that’s gone off after a piece of bread became over-toasted will appreciate the voice warning that proceeds the alarm and the possibility of waving at the detector to turn it off. Plus the device sends a low battery alert to your smart phone. Once I check with the alarm company to be sure the Nesties are compatible with our system, I plan to switch out my two 10-year- old smoke alarms, which should be easy since the Nest model fits the same receptacles. Nest Protect (black or white). About $129 at Nest.com.
Bodum Pilatus Insulated Glasses – After years of telling myself I didn’t need an espresso machine, I broke down and purchased a Nespresso U Milk when it went on sale for 25% off. This is a semi big deal because I sold all the espresso cups and saucers (along with the original espresso machine) back in 2001 when I unloaded all my cooking school equipment. But that’s OK because I wouldn’t buy conventional espresso cups and saucers today. I’d go for a set of Bodum’s Pilatus small double-wall glasses which are beautiful, feather-light, insulated and heat proof. The glasses come in three sizes (2.5 oz., 8 oz. and 12 oz). They are dishwasher and microwave safe and the rippled silhouette keep them from getting slippery. Sets of 2 (2.5 oz) about $18 from Bodum.
(Source: simplehuman, amazon, nest, bodum)
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