Top home gadgets for 2018
Technology is being driven by smaller, smarter, connected devices. Here are some of the gadgets you’ll be using soon.
Although ovens with pre-set “cooking programs” have been available for a while, their functionality has been limited. Often, they’re little more than mechanical timers.
What they lack is senses. Human cooks recognise when to adjust, moisten or serve food using a combination of sight, smell, hearing and other senses. Ovens able to make similar real-time judgements are about to appear. One example is the Dialog Oven from German brand, Miele. This oven “listens” to the food, to judge when to modify the kinds of radio waves used to cook it. Although the Dialog is essentially a microwave, sensor-controlled ovens using combinations of conventional heat, microwaves and grilling are on the way.
Science fiction writers assumed robots would begin by taking over “simple” chores like cleaning. When technologists began to develop them, they discovered that cleaning isn’t “simple” at all – a human cleaner uses more physical coordination and complex judgement than a brain surgeon or rocket scientist.
That’s one reason why robot vacs have yet to become mainstream. The new Neato Botvac Connected D7 promises to change that. Instead of renegotiating the same obstacles over and over, it maps your home. You can program the map too, so that it doesn’t fall off the verandah or tip over plant pots.
Increasing numbers of appliances contain mini computers. Enabling them to communicate is creating an “internet of things”. One of the outcomes will be homes that switch on and off heating, lighting, cooking, home entertainment and security systems, where and when they are wanted. Your oven can start cooking when it detects you’re coming home, music and video can follow you from room to room, and the house can lock itself up when you go to bed, (see home automation company, http://digitalinteriors.co.uk).
People still think of VR as something separated from the real world. In fact, VR will be used to enhance and record the real world. Affordable multi-lens cameras like the TeleportVR can capture and replay our experiences immersively. As this website says, “the future of mobile video is VR”.
This VR camera and app began to ship last year, but 2018 will see more sophisticated versions. “Stereo” lens iPhones are also in the pipeline.