Text: Simon Loh
Why wash one load of laundry at a time when you can now do two? And how about charging one’s favourite gadgets directly atop one’s favourite furniture? In Part One of ‘Homefinder’s 2015 Product Guide to Smart Homes’, we explore & discover various upcoming & exciting smart products to compliment smart homes of tomorrow. 2015 is expected to boom for smart tech.
If you are looking to boost security, cook more appetising meals, or even have a better medical check-up (exam), chances are some company has already conjured up a “smarter” way to do it. Homes of the future are no longer just about smart interface, wireless connectivity and device integration. Smart homes of today rely upon futuristic gadgets to function more “intelligently”. Everything is geared toward simplifying one’s life by automating one’s personal experiences around the house. The following digital home products featured in this issue had recently been showcased at the just concluded CES 2015 (i.e. Consumer Electronics Show) in America – the largest technology fair or expo of its kind available anywhere in the world.
LG ‘TWIN WASH’ Washing Machine
The initial impression was that, the LG Twin Wash appears more of a ‘home appliance’ than a digital product for a smart home. However, it is nonetheless one of the firm favourite household products on display at this year’s CES 2015. It is essentially a “washing machine within a washing machine.” There is ample space for a full-sized load on top, and a smaller, pull-out drawer at the bottom which provides one with a second compartment to enable concurrent or simultaneous washing operations. That way, our laundry days would be effectively halved, hence saving time and money. LG’s new ‘Twin Wash’ system allows you to perform two loads of washing tasks at any one time. “Twin Wash” is a separate device drawer that can be fitted under any of LG’s front-load washers, which can handle smaller and more delicate loads whist the main machine operates through an entirely different cycle.
When not in use, the mini washer serves as the pedestal for the main machine and will be compatible with LG’s TurboWash, which sprays concentrated detergent directly onto clothes for faster cycle times. To compliment its Twin Wash system, LG is highlighting a number of brand new features on their washers and dryers. The EcoHybrid Dryer recycles heat for a dramatic increase in energy efficiency. This compliments its TurboSteam models that function similarly to TurboWash, spraying steam directly onto clothes for faster cycle operations. The steam also assists with wrinkles on clothes, smooths fabric crinkling and reducing washing times.
IKEA ‘QI’ WIRELESS Charging Furniture
Smart-home technology has become a core of many modern homes today. We often stay connected and interact constantly using smartphones and tablets. IKEA took up this challenge and included their home furnishing knowledge. Their solution was furnishings with built-in wireless chargers. In order to access the technology, the users and creators of the Qi (“wireless charging”) standard must first register with the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). A member of WPC since 2008, IKEA has certainly come of age with this revolutionary technology. Ideally, our smartphones should always be within arm’s length, keeping us connected with minimal bodily movement (i.e. “body shifts”). Conventional chargers with their messy or entangled cables also tend to go missing especially within large homes.
As smartphones become a natural part of our lives, we want the charging process to interface seamlessly with our homes. That is why IKEA has created a range of wireless chargers that make mobile charging a lot more accessible but a lot less obvious. Simply place your phone on top the plus (+) sign. All wireless chargers come with a USB port/outlet, making it possible to charge additional devices at no added cost. Mobile charging is truly simplified and they are perfect for homes as well as offices. With a simple yet interesting design, its user-friendly charging pads also blend in easily within the home environment for greater aesthetic appeal.
AUGUST Smart Lock
Secure and intelligent access for your home using smartphone applications. Never worry about losing your keys again. Easy to install, yet discreet in design – replaces the interior of your existing deadbolt in minutes; exterior physical lock remains unchanged. You are in complete control of who has access to your home and the duration of the visitor’s stay. Battery-powered convenience, so it is constantly on; even if your power supply or Wi-Fi shuts down. Its proprietory Auto Unlock feature senses your approach and instantaneously unlocks your door for you, without having to reach for your phone. You also never have to worry about losing your keys ever again. The Smart Lock encrypted technology is safer compared to physical keys that can be duplicated or go missing, as well as conventional keyless-entry codes that can be copied or hacked. You may still carry keys if you wish to, but they are not essential or necessary. The August ‘Smart Lock’ responds to your unique identity and unlocks the door for you personally!