5 Must-have high-tech home gadgets
Admit it: You've long dreamed of the day when robots assist in your day-to-day chores and you run home appliances remotely from the office or the road. Good news: The day is here! Here are five upcoming and just-on-the-market home technologies that will keep your home better organized and, best yet, a safer place to live.
LG's upcoming Thinq line of appliances was just previewed at this year's CES show in Las Vegas. The new line showcased an oven, a refrigerator, a washer-and-dryer unit and a HOM-BOT vacuum cleaner. But the real highlight was the fridge, which has an LED display and touts a host of pretty amazing qualities -- one of which is being able to keep an inventory of food items that you have stored inside of it. It can also text you when the door is ajar and alert you to any known technical issues.
iRobot's Roomba robot vacuum cleaner took the world by storm a few years ago, and now they've upgraded to not only include vacuuming but squeegeeing and brushing away dirt, resulting in an even better cleaning job. The Scooba is a smaller version (only 3.5 inches tall) of the disc-shaped Roomba, but with a better targeting system called iAdapt Responsive Cleaning Technology to effortlessly navigate a room.
SmartKey has been around for about three years, but it hasn't gotten the widespread press it deserves. The idea behind the SmartKey is that instead of having to call a locksmith to change locks after every lost key or move, you can use the technology within the actual door-mounted lock to cut a new key, making the key-changing process significantly quicker and cheaper.
Light dimmers and the ability to turn them on and off has always been a manual task -- or at least one that required extensive wiring and some sort of stationary device. But the INSTEON Light Control Kit has an app that works with your cell phone to remotely monitor your home lights. You can also use the app to monitor your lighting system from a computer.
Withings is a startup company based in France that debuted the Smart Baby Monitor earlier this year. The Smart Baby Monitor is a video device that allows parents to check in on their child; it features an infrared LED that gives parents night vision so they don't have to have a light on in the nursery. Even more convenient, the Smart Baby Monitor hooks up to a remote device, like an iPhone, iPad or Android phone or tablet, to allow parents to monitor their child from a cell phone or mobile device.