A smart toilet? Yes, there is such a thing!

July 24th, 2006

Imagine walking up to a toilet and the lid automatically opens. When you are done with your business, the lid automatically closes and the toilet flushes. Oh but wait, there’s more.

The seat warms itself using various temperature settings that can be adjusted via remote control.

A washlet is included (think of a bidet) that can be used in the front or rear, and also used in “soft” mode.

Includes an automatic air purifier.

Below is a picture of this smart toilet, but do check out all the details on their website.

smart toilet

Remote Control Door Opener

June 5th, 2006

A couple of years ago, I had the bright idea to invent a remote control door opener, so I didn’t have to get up to open the door every time one of my dogs needed to go outside. Naturally, it was just one of those ideas that I wouldn’t have known how to actually produce, so it went into the wastebin of my brain where all of my other ideas go.

Now, however, someone obviously rummaged through my brain’s wastebin and decided to invent the Remote Control Door Opener.

It’s pricey at nearly $325, but the aggravation it could save me would be worth it! The remote can control either one or two doors. It even has a Timer mode, allowing it to automatically close after a set amount of time (from 10-50 seconds).

I suppose if I only had one dog, life would not be so tough, but with three (all of which are on different “must go out” schedules), this little smart gadget could save me from perpetual annoyance. Thanks, SmartHome for this smart device!

Oh, and it could probably be useful for the elderly or handicapped as well. Not just for lazy, annoyed dog owners. :)

Smart design – Computer Bed

May 7th, 2006

Sometimes a smart gadget is smart because of its design. The Computer Bed is one of those. This is similar to the Murphy bed of old, but the computer desk folds down to reveal a twin bed. Great for small rooms, students in dorms, etc.

During the day, it functions as a smart looking computer desk, but its gas pistons quickly shift the back of the desk downwards to reveal a twin bed when needed. The Denver factory can even customize the system to your personal design.

Sleek, stylish, and smart!

Smart Kitchen Countertop

April 11th, 2006

In the Microsoft Smart Home, they have a smart kitchen counter that is mind-blowing. It understands what is placed on the counter, such as a food processor and a bag of flour. Once it determines the type of activity that may be taking place, it asks if you need help. If you answer yes (using your voice), it then shows a large display right on the countertop.

First, you see a menu. One of the options is Recipes. If you say, “Recipes”, it then gives you a list of recipes that match the items you placed on the counter. When you see one you want to make, simply say the name of the recipe.

A voice then prompts you through each step, while displaying the ingredients and directions on the countertop. You tell it when you are ready to move on to the next step.

Some very cool smart gadgets coming our way in the future. Being a fairly bad cook myself, I could use all the smart electronic help I can get! Sure hope this comes my way in the near future.

Objects in your rear view mirror don’t need to be seen

March 17th, 2006

This smart gadget is a rear-view mirror that alerts you to objects behind your car that you can’t see. It’s got a strange name, ModooFree plus BT, but its features are sweet.

With a built-in Parking Sensors by ultrasonic sensors inside the rear mirror, while backing the vehicle, the sensor senses the distance from the right, left, and rear and indicates the distance via LCD digits (0,4M~1.6M ; 1.3FT~5.4FT) & left(‘) & right(‘) and also by four stages of warning signals(beep sounds) which helps the driver while backing the vehicle.

Ok, it’s really cool that it can see things that you can’t, and alert you to them. But it doesn’t end there. What else can it do? It also communicates with your bluetooth-enabled cell phone, so you can talk and listen via the rear view mirror’s loudspeaker/microphone, without taking your hands off the steering wheel.

I want one of these. Hopefully, in the future, these kinds of gadgets will be standard features, or at least available as options, in most new cars.

Have a smart home right now

March 13th, 2006

New million dollar homes are being fitted for smart home technology. But what about your little home? Are you left out in the cold? Not at all. You can have a smart home as well, for as little as $99 right now.

A wireless technology called Z-Wave can easily be installed that can control almost everything electronic in your home – including appliances, lighting, security systems, heat and home entertainment.

The Z-Wave starter kit costs $99 and comes with a master controller and two light modules. Additional modules can be purchased to automate everything from the television to the microwave oven.

Want to come home after work to a house that welcomes you? You can have certain lights turned on prior to your arrival and the stereo playing your favorite music. Or program different appliances to turn on in the morning as you start your day.

Z-Wave will soon be able to be controlled from your laptop or cellphone as well, so while on vacation, you can check in and lower the temperature of the house, turn lights on or off, and activate alarms.

You can get Z-Wave from www.z-wavealliance.org

Prototype: Smart Changing Room

March 12th, 2006

If you are anything like me, you hate trying on clothes. In the future, you may not need to.

At the Cebit trade show recently held, German retail giant Metro AG gave shoppers a peek into the future of department stores. They showed a prototype of a smart changing room, which enables shoppers to see what various pieces of clothing look like on a person without actually having to put them on.

The system used RFID tags to identify items of clothing, and when placed near a large display, sensors read the tags and show an image of a model wearing an outfit made up of those items.

While the system currently only shows clothes on models, future versions will scan the shopper’s body and display exactly what the outfit will look like on the shopper.

I envision using the system to sift through multiple possibilities, and then finally trying on just the few that I’ve narrowed down, just to be sure it really looks the way I expect it to. I can’t wait for this smart gadget to become a reality.

Smart dishwasher dispenses soap automatically

March 11th, 2006

GE has come out with a new dishwasher with “SmartDispense” technology. You can pour an entire 45 ounce bottle of dishwashing detergent into the machine, and the dishwasher will dispense just the right amount for each load. Using smart sensors, it determines the correct amount of detergent to use based on water hardness, soil level, size of load, water temperature and cycle selection to prevent waste. And in case you were wondering, it also includes a low-detergent sensor that signals when it’s time to refill the detergent reservoir – before it runs out!

But wait, there’s more! :) The GE Profile dishwasher is also quiet and includes more sensors that adjust the cycle time and water temperature as necessary to get dishes remarkably clean.

What is the best thing about this dishwasher? Well, in my opinion, it is the Angled Rack Dry system, that tilts mugs and cups at an angle (securely holding them in place), so that the water slides off and doesn’t pool on top. My pet peeve has always been the water sitting on top of a mug that splashes all over me when I remove it. Now, I can cross that pet peeve off my list!

And finally, the last little feature is the Single Rack Wash selection that allows you to do small loads by using the top rack only. It senses this and saves time and energy, allowing up to five place settings in the top rack.

Global Pet Finder – Good use of GPS tracking

March 7th, 2006

Ever lost a pet? Ever spent endless days searching and hoping to find it? Well, the new Global Pet Finder could end that problem. Using a GPS enabled collar, you can track your pet via cellphone or wireless device. The collar will send the continuously updated location of your pet in text or map format.

How it works is pretty amazing. You enter a name, address, and size of the virtual “fence” you want to create in the command center. Any time your pet leaves this virtual fence, you will be notified.

Traveling? No problem. You can redefine the virtual fence at any time.

At $349, it’s not cheap, but this is one smart gadget!

Using Smarter Technology for Elder Care

February 25th, 2006

Mikael Eklunk, of UC Berkeley’s Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, is testing a new sensor network at a retirement home.  This network consists of sensors that are only about the size of a deck of cards, and are designed to detect when seniors fall or suffer from acute ailments.

If the test is successful, and does not report false alarms, the technology could then be used by the elderly who still live at home.  In an emergency, the sensors could send alerts via wireless technology to relatives or emergency personnel.

I am a caretaker of elderly parents who live right next door to me, and yet I am always worried that I won’t know quickly enough if something happens to them.  Such a gadget would greatly ease my mind.