By Alexandra Pacurar
Smart appliances and devices are the 21st-century feng shui. It’s not just about modern design but also functionality. Many of these objects make residential living or working in an office easier and safer. Gadgets appeal to Millennials and Baby Boomers alike. A recent survey by security solutions provider Allegion shows that one-third of U.S. adults age 53 to 71 own and use smart devices, while almost half are interested in purchasing one. Meanwhile, a report by Coldwell Banker Real Estate found that 47 percent of people age 18 to 34 own connected home technology. High-tech products for residences and offices save time, conserve energy and are slowly transitioning from trend to norm.
AT200 SpaLet Smart Toilet by DXV
This dual flush toilet from DXV offers hands-free flushing, automated lid movement, a heated seat and a fully adjustable two-nozzle water spray system with integrated air dryer. Technologically and environmentally sound, it is also WaterSense-certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its eco-friendly features. The dual-action flushing system uses some 40 percent less water than standard 1.6 gallons-per-flush models.
SensFloor by Future Shape
This smart floor detects falls and sends an alert when they occur. Installed under flooring, the system houses motion sensors that calculate the number of persons on the floor, their direction and speed. It can even localize intruders, and offers an application programming interface for security, health care, smart retail, multimedia and home automation.
Cold-Start Faucets by Roca
These faucets were created using a simple concept that can save water, energy and money. The tap system is set up so that water is initially cold. Once it has been turned on, a shift of a lever to the left allows the water to gradually grow hotter. This way, the boiler will only start when necessary. Roca also provides the technology with a progressive cartridge that completes the same function with a wheel control instead of a lever. There are dozens of Roca faucets available with Cold Start technology—for use in kitchens, basins or bidets.
Hue Bulbs and Lighting Kits by Philips
Philips Hue is a smart lighting system that combines energy-efficient LEDs and intuitive technology. The kits contain the bulbs, the bridge and smart controls. The bulbs provide bright light for daily activities, but the ambiance kit includes colored bulbs. All bulbs flash, pulse and adjust to the user’s preferences. The bridge can support as many as 50 bulbs and accessories; it connects to a smartphone or tablet, for operation by the Philips Hue app or one of the several third-party apps developed for this lighting system.
Smart Lock by August Home
Now in its third generation, the August Smart Lock offers keyless entry and remote control via a mobile app, keeping track of who exits or enters the door. The system integrates with third-party devices such as Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. It has an industrial design and can be easily installed on an existing deadbolt. Two of its most useful features are Auto-Unlock and Auto-Lock, which open and close the door automatically.
The Intelligent Oven by June
With slow cooking making a strong comeback, a smart oven will add value to any apartment. June’s intelligent convection oven has carbon fiber heating elements that preheat as much as three times faster, cook more quickly and maintain a uniform temperature. This smart appliance uses its internal HD camera and ID technology to identify various foods and then selects the correct preset program to cook them according to preference. It is available as an independent smart appliance as well as a built-in intelligent oven.
Smart Thermostat by Ecobee
The fourth-generation ecobee thermostat includes room sensors to help manage hot or cold spots. It can also detect if a room is occupied or not and adjust the temperature accordingly, saving energy. It provides a mobile app for iOS and Android phones, as well as Apple watches, to help adjust temperature on the go. The ecobee4 can program heat distribution remotely, and comes with built-in Amazon Alexa voice service.
Originally appearing in the CPE-MHN Guide to 2018.