Tagged With quirky

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I recently took my first vacation in two years. It was fun! But I was excited to get home, raise my shades and relax in the finicky but sort of useful smart home I'd spent the past few months building. When I walked in the door, all of the automation was gone. The light on my Wink hub was yellow. This was not fun.

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Quirky, the company that helps turn crazy inventions into things you can actually buy, has announced seven new gizmos to help raise the IQ of your home. They include inexpensive devices that detect moisture levels or energy consumption, but also one product — a smart thermostat — aimed at giving smart home leaders like Nest some quality competition.

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Quirky's approach of bringing user-submitted inventions to life pre-dates Kickstarter by quite a few years. And the company's track record at successfully producing these often highly original creations means you can actually get excited about a wafflemaker that lets you create custom pixelated images every morning. What a time to be alive.

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I grew up in an old house without an air conditioner. During the summer, it would get so hot and humid that the doors would swell, and you couldn't close them. So when it was finally time for me to buy my very own AC unit, it felt like a luxury. And I treated it as such.

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If you live in an apartment in a big city, and you've managed to find a little room on your tiny balcony for a modest garden, you probably don't have much space left for the tools needed to toil over your cramped crops. So inventor Marc R. came up with this rather clever soft-sided watering can called the Squish that's thin and easy to store when it's empty.

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You might think the cheap plastic rake you grabbed at the hardware store is more than adequate given you really only use it for about one month out of the year. But that's only because you haven't been introduced to Quirky's wonderful new Rake 'n' Tamp, which not only wrangles leaves, it also tamps them down so you can squeeze as much as possible into every bag.

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At one point or another, who of us hasn't risked losing a finger by opening a pair of scissors and using them as a quick, impromptu knife? It turns out they're a pretty good way to open taped boxes without horribly slicing what's inside, so Quirky took the idea and created a pair of scissors called the Sheath that's actually safe to use as an improvised knife.

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Tornado hot dogs are the biggest thing since spiral cut ham on sliced bread. By carving a groove into the link around a meaty central core, the dog not only cooks faster with crispy edges, but it also holds more condiments and prevents them from slopping out with each bite.