There's nothing more fun than a house that responds to your every command. Why not splash out and smarten up your living space this holiday season? Here are some high-tech gadgets to light up your home this Christmas.
As imperfect as they might still be for the average, everyday, regular user, Wi-Fi enabled lightbulbs are still a thing that won’t quit. The Philips Hue range is one of the best out there at the moment, with a high quality globe backed by a solid open-source wireless standard and a useful and versatile mobile app.
As cool as robotic vacuum cleaners can be, they’re not usually particularly good at actually vacuuming. We’re finally reaching the stage, though, where manufacturers are building in large enough batteries, powerful enough motors and smart enough software to make robots a viable alternative to the old fashioned upright and canister models pushed around by fleshy meatbag humans.
You can buy the latest, newest, most powerful Samsung PowerBot VR9200 for roughly $1499; you'll find them at Bing Lee and Harvey Norman.
The WeMo family of smart home gadgets and internet-connected appliances is growing. We’ve had quite a long wait for this particular apparatus, but you’re finally able to pick it up in a JB Hi-Fi or Bunnings Warehouse near you — Belkin’s energy-monitoring WeMo Insight Switch is finally available in Australia, with an Australian power plug.
At $69, the WeMo Insight lets you monitor the power usage of any device connected to its 240-volt plug; you can also switch connected devices off and on remotely and set timers. You can buy the WeMo Insight in stores like Dick Smith and online.
Let’s face it: LED light bulbs are cool. They’re much more energy efficient than incandescent globes, they have better colour than fluorescents, and they start up nearly instantly. Fancy bulbs like the Philips Hue have red-green-blue LEDs, too, that can change their colour to create impressive and dynamic scenes, with Wi-Fi control. The LIFX is one of those fancy bulbs.
We’ve all lost an umbrella before. Usually just before it buckets down with rain and you actually need one. This particular gadget won’t solve the problem of you getting entirely drenched in the meantime, but it’ll make sure that if you’re savvy enough, you’ll always know where your brolly is. The Blunt XS_Metro + Tile is an umbrella — an umbrella with GPS and Bluetooth, no less — that you can never lose.
You'll pay roughly $100 for the Blunt XS Metro if you want the GPS-tracking tile included; we found one at the SMH shop.
Dyson’s Hot + Cool is a $699, motorised, heating and cooling behemoth that sucks air through a tiny aperture and accelerates it through the application of some nifty physics — just like a jet airliner’s turbofan. It’ll smoothly accelerate air from across a medium-sized room, and cool you at a distance while remaining quiet. It’s not quite as expensive as a 747, but it’s still crazy pricy.
In partnership with the Toshiba Radius 12
Questions, comments, tips? You can find me on Twitter at @csimps0n.