Tech special: 2015 - Year of the gadget
A cookie jar with a timer, a vacuum cleaner with a mind of its own, a camera in your oven — this year, technology makes life simpler
The year 2015 can be called a gadget-savvy year as it will mark a revolution with the launch of the Apple Watch, curved screens on cell phones, and products that will not only make your houses look glamorous but also make their maintenance a lot simpler. From coffee makers that can be controlled by a smartphone app, to cookie jars with timers, intelligent robots that will clean your house to cameras that will let you see how your food is being cooked inside the oven — here are a few home gadgets that we look forward to seeing on the market shelves this year. Although these gadgets are yet to enter the Indian market, they are definitely worth the wait.
Perfect Portions Food Scale (Price: $59.99)
Weight management is a science, which includes an ideal combination of your age, weight, height, activity level and food intake. To remain healthy, it is important to consume measured quantities of nutritious foods. Perfect Portions Food Scale not only measures your portions but also tells you the nutrition value of the food you are about to consume.
It comes with an in-built database of 1,999 foods and ingredients. All you have to do is put your food portion on the scale on the glass top surface and punch in the food code on its touchpad. It will calculate the nutritional facts about the ingredients. The scale provides a breakdown of calories versus fat calories, total fat vs saturated fat, cholesterol, Sodium, total carbs and proteins. You can readjust the quantity of the food according to your permissible daily calorie intake values. You can even first put a bowl on the scale, readjust the weight to zero on the touchpad and then weigh your food for more accuracy.
The scale can track the nutritional facts for more than one item and then sum up all the information in a recipe.
To measure, you must punch in a four-digit code from a 44-page booklet for each ingredient.
So, till you learn the codes of your daily items, you will need to crossrefer to the booklet every time you measure.
Philips GranBaristo Avanti (Price: Euro 1,599.99)
If coffee gives you the perfect start to your day, it better be well-made. Chances are that at 7 am, your favourite coffee shop is not going to be open to serve you your first cuppa. GranBaristo Avant coffee-maker can make 16 different types of coffee, including a fresh roasted Espresso, an Americano and even a frothy cappuccino. A simple app on your tablet will link the machine via bluetooth or Wi-Fi, depending on the model. The app has a selection screen for different types of coffees and suggestions to enhance your drinking experience. You can select the temperature, amount of coffee per cup and let the machine do the rest.
You can save settings once you have found the blend that suits your taste buds. It even allows you to make profiles for up to six users.
You can even make a creamy cappuccino with fresh milk using the onboard milk carafe and frother. The Thermo Speed Technology flash heats the coffee and ensures that you get your cup of coffee within minutes. You can even queue up different types and portions for the machine to make one after the other.
Electrolux Oven Camera (price not available)
Every chef’s secret: Cooking the food at the right temperature, and knowing when it’s cooked, can set you up for a great food experience. All of us have had moments where we try to peep inside the oven, wondering whether the food is ready — be it a cake, a soufflé or a pie. Electrolux Oven Camera will show you what’s going on inside. It can be mounted inside your steam oven to take well-lit pictures of the food being cooked and sends the pictures to its smartphone app called Let’s Eat. This way, you can check on your food even if you are not in the kitchen. So you simply start the oven, put in your dish and switch on the camera and the app.
Let’s Eat also gives you a wide variety of recipes, suggests food combinations and nutritional facts.
If you use it with the soon-to-beintroduced ‘connected ovens’, you will be able to control the whole baking operation through the app.
The Kitchen Safe (Price: $49)
Timing your food intake and not giving in to your desires to binge before the planned time, is definitely the most difficult part of any diet plan. In comes the Kitchen Safe containers, time-locked containers that will only open after the time interval set on it has passed.
The 6x6x6.5-inch containers are large enough to fit in a variety of items, ranging from your next meal to cookies that your kids might try to eat right before their meal times. All you have to do is set the timer on the lid and once the item is locked inside, there is no way to open the Kitchen Safe till the timer goes off. Even if the batteries (2xAA) are drained or taken out, the lock will stay sealed and the countdown with resume once they are replaced. On a regular use, the batteries can last up to six months.
Samsung POWERbot VR9000 (Price: $1,499)
The POWERbot VR900 is a compact and futuristic robotic vacuum that comes with an LCD screen and a touch-sensitive
control for programming the modes such as auto vacuuming start/stop and return to base.
The machine comes with Samsung’s smart Digital Inverter Technology, which creates suction power up to 60 times more than a conventional robot vacuum. CycloneForce Technology creates a centrifugal force that circulates dust particles through the inner chamber, separating dust and debris from air and sends it to the outer chamber. The POWERbot maps the rooms and memorises it. The Point Cleaning function lets you pointon a spot for extra cleaning.
Powered by a Lithium-ion battery, the POWERbot VR9000 can run for 60 minutes after a full charge and then return to its base for an automatic recharge. Once recharged, it will go on to finish cleaning the house