5 Gadgets that will revolutionise the home

Olly Mann

Some seriously weird and wonderful products were launched at the 49th Consumer Electronics Show, here are five of our favourites. 

Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator

samsung family hub refridgerator

A few minutes rearranging the fruit shelf was as much entertainment as I’d ever expected from my refrigerator. No more.

Family Hub has a 21.5-inch, full-HD screen on the door. So you could watch Star Wars on it. But, more usefully, it syncs with your smartphone, so you can share notes, photos and recipes on it, thereby digitising all those magnetic tchotchkes currently adorning your fridge.

The really innovative bit? The three cameras lurking inside: when out shopping, just consult your app for a live image of what you have in stock.

 

 

LG Smart Security Solution

LG Smart security solution

The market for web-connected home-security cameras is becoming increasingly crowded. For my money, nobody has yet beaten Google’s Nest for ease of set-up, but LG’s new home hub offers many more features.

As well as taping in 1080p digital zoom, its environmental sensors monitor temperature and humidity (useful, for example, in a nursery) and—if it detects smoke—there’s a built-in 100-decibel siren to alert the neighbours.

 

 

Fisher-Price Think and Learn Code-a-pillar

Fisher-Price Think and Learn Code-a-pillar To stand a chance of a career in ICT, schoolchildren must learn how  artificial intelligence works—hence coding  has become part of the curriculum. But how to kick off their education at home, long before teacher explains what algorithms are? This cute motorised caterpillar, designed  for ages 3–8, is a novel solution:  it behaves differently depending on which order its segments are put together, thus mimicking the command structure of a computer programme. Expect Mark Zuckerberg to buy one for his daughter imminently.

To stand a chance of a career in ICT, schoolchildren must learn how artificial intelligence works—hence coding has become part of the curriculum. But how to kick off their education at home, long before teacher explains what algorithms are?

This cute motorised caterpillar, designed for ages 3–8, is a novel solution: it behaves differently depending on which order its segments are put together, thus mimicking the command structure of a computer programme.

Expect Mark Zuckerberg to buy one for his daughter imminently.

 

 

Virtual reality headsets

virtual reality

Come summer, you and I will finally be able to get our hands on a VR machine.

The three big contenders are HTC’s Vive, which includes a front-facing camera to interact with the outside world, Facebook’s Oculus Rift, which has been hyped harder than the return of the Messiah, and Sony’s Playstation VR, which, though lower-spec, is compatible with PS consoles rather than requiring an expensive gaming PC.

Sony will sell more units—but it’s the £499 Oculus everyone wants to try.

 

 

Ehang 184 AAV

Ehang 184 AAV AAV? A new acronym for me  too: it stands for “Autonomous Aerial Vehicle” (a self-driving helicopter). Since the media go doolally for all things drone, this has enthusiastically been billed as “the world’s first passenger drone”. Yep, a drone you can climb into. Auto-pilot aviation  is hardly new, of course, and the regulatory ramifications of this product are endless, but it’s only a matter of time before Uber offers this service in Silicon Valley— for the publicity alone.

AAV? A new acronym for me too: it stands for “Autonomous Aerial Vehicle” (a self-driving helicopter). Since the media go doolally for all things drone, this has enthusiastically been billed as “the world’s first passenger drone”.

Yep, it's a drone you can climb into. Auto-pilot aviation is hardly new, of course, and the regulatory ramifications of this product are endless, but it’s only a matter of time before Uber offers this service in Silicon Valley—
for the publicity alone.