Look around your house. You probably see a lot of old standbys that can’t possibly be improved. Or can they? These 12 technological marvels have taken everyday items we take for granted to the next level.
ordinary to extraordinary
No more umbrella hassles! A French student has designed an umbrella that uses nothing but air to blow the rain back up, keeping you dry without the bulk. You can wipe it dry with a small cloth to be tucked away while you’re shopping. (Not yet available)
Remember that scene in Minority Report where Tom Cruise controls a computer through gestures in the air instead of using a mouse? If you thought that was ridiculous, the folks at Leap Motion have three words for you: “In your face.” (Leap Motion, $80)
Hapilabs has created a fork that helps you lose weight — by alerting you when you’re eating too fast and tracking your eating behavior. It’s waterproof and machine washable too! (Coming soon)
Phillips has created a personal wireless lighting system that all starts with the smartest bulb ever made. Change colors on individual bulbs to customize the perfect mood lighting. And control it with your smart device, even when you’re out of the country. (Apple, $60 and up)
August Smart Lock
The August Smart Lock lets you use an app to completely manage access to your home without the need for keys or codes. It automatically senses your device as you approach, and lets you grant and revoke access to others with the press of a button — it also alerts you when they come and go. Forgot your phone? It still works the old-fashioned way. (August, $200)