Necessity drives innovation. Last week, quadriplegic former Indy 500 driver, Sam Schmidt drove a modified Corvette around the Indianapolis Speedway by moving his head and biting down with his teeth. Arrow Electronics, a medical and consumer electronics company used existing technology in novel ways to develop this Semi-Autonomous Motorcar (SAM).
It’s not just racecars getting hi-tech treatment. A couple weeks ago, the Nod Gesture Control Ring entered the market. Nod is a hi-tech gadget geared to making life easier. The ring—designed for wearing on the index finger—allows for continuous control of all your smart devices including phones and tablets, watches, Google Glass, televisions and computers, and even home appliances with a wave of your hand. It comes in 12 ring sizes and works for right- and left-handed users.
But Wait, There’s More…
Less esoteric devices for home use hit stores earlier this year. These include a sensor to adjust your watering schedule like the Skydrop Sprinkler Controller, that senses fluctuations in moisture and precipitation, and adjusts when and how long sprinklers run.
You may not want Big Brother looking over your shoulder, but maybe you need Sense Mother to keep you on track. Sense Mother’s “Cookies” sensors attach to almost anything in your home and learn your family’s habits and behaviors. You can train the devices to remind you to drink enough water, or if you leave the refrigerator door open too long. It will tell you if your kids need to brush their teeth longer and let you know you forgot to water the plants.
Home Intelligence Devices
Belkin’s WeMo devices work with your home electronics and even your outlets, sockets and switches. Connecting through IFTTT (if this then that) Web technology, WeMo controls turning lights on and off, and measures and monitors energy consumption. It adjusts for the weather, responds to sports scores, and reacts to pretty much any other scenario you can create for it. It interfaces with Google Calendar, Evernote, Facebook, Twitter, and your home’s smart security system so if someone enters your home, WeMo can tweet you. You no longer have to pay for a cook, just let WeMo turn your oven or slow cooker on and offer your family perfectly cooked meals. Use its motion technology to warm (or cool) rooms as you enter them. The WeMo App, for your smartphone or tablet, works over Wi-Fi and 3G/4G.
Tech Just for the Kitchen
More narrowly focused devices make life in the kitchen easier. Consider the Egg Minder if you worry about salmonella, or the Prep Pad to keep your macronutrient levels just right. The GE Brillion app for your Android or iPhone works with several GE Profile wall ovens to enable remote cooking from turn-on and preheating to temperature changes and checking your roast’s internal temperature.
Whether an active family or single living, walk in the door at the end of the day and enjoy the function and fun of Hi-tech homes.