These home tech innovations are doing more work around the house than ever before and run the gamut from inspired gadgetry to invisible-but-mighty additions enhancing home value, safety, and environmental consciousness.
The gadget-outfitted homes predicted in 1950s pop culture is firmly established—minus the flying cars, that is. In fact, we’re several generations in and far evolved from the first digital home security systems, voice-activated lighting and robot vacuums.
Some are enticing to the eye and will fit in with the furnishings and art you have worked hard to curate. Other miracles can’t be seen but will be felt or heard in subtle but meaningful ways. Ultimately, they’re all meant to improve the quality of life within your space. Here’s a small sampling of the latest high-tech home innovations we’re loving.
A Breath of Fresh Air
Molekule, a San Francisco-based science and clean home tech company, recently launched an air purification system so advanced that it’s patented and sold at recognized retailers such as the MoMA store in New York City. However, there’s more to the device’s good looks that meet the eye. Unlike HEPA filters (an old technology dating to the 1940s which traps some pollutants on the surface), Molekule eradicates bacteria, mold, toxic gasses (VOCs), and other airborne allergens by shining a low energy black light on a specially designed electro-catalytic filter, converting pollutants into trace amounts of water and CO2. The genesis of the idea originated a quarter century ago, when company co-founder Yogi Goswami was inspired to develop the technology to help relieve his son of his severe asthma symptoms when other air purifiers just weren’t cutting it.
Now We’re Cooking
The Brava Pure Light Countertop Oven is a sleek and simple countertop oven that can cook an entire meal with less energy than it takes to preheat a traditional oven.
It does so with its proprietary “Pure Light Cooking™” heating lamps and elements, dynamic cooking engine, a heat-resistant internal camera (projecting images to one’s phone through the company’s app), and the most advanced heat sensors in development. A temperature probe within the system cooks protein, veggies and starch all on one tray—simultaneously—to perfection.
Brava also promises a number of handy customized functions, some which tie into one’s smartphone via apps. Users can opt for a Brava Guided Cooking feature (a combination of preset Recipes and Basic Ingredients settings) or go with user-controlled features to sear, reheat, toast, and bake. In time, the app will provide users with chef-curated recipes and a marketplace where they can directly purchase premium ingredients from some of the best farms and fisheries in the U.S. via Brava’s food partners: Chef’d, Good Eggs and Greensbury Market.
Let There Be Light
In the past decade, thousands of homeowners have embraced solar panels as an essential home investment, with proven results and quantifiable savings on electric bills—especially where larger estates and homes are concerned. However, Howard Ullman, CEO of Atmospheric Water Solutions, points out there are several major caveats beyond the cost of installation. For example, most homeowners cannot install them on their own, and if they sell their home, they’ve also relinquished their investment. The solution, through his Aquarius Brands subsidiary is the patented Retrax Solar Solutions 3KW-5KW solar panel sheet that comes folded up, pre-wired, and can be activated in less than 30 minutes. The panels can be transported by truck or by aircraft, and no scaffolding is required.
Cero, a single track glass panel wall system from NanaWall Systems, Inc., does far more than just make a home more glamorous and bring the outside in (and vice versa). It is NFRC-rated for energy efficiency in all climates, and offers a motorized option allowing the large panels to be operated and securely locked with a simple touch of a button. The automation feature provides effortless and quiet operation, can be integrated into several different smart home systems, and ensures soundproofing and acoustic privacy. The frames for the walls, which can be up to 13-feet high, are available in 50 standard colors with another 200 colors available in powder coat and anodized finishes; custom-matched colors and simulated wood effects are also available.
All the Right Connections
Hubitat Elevation’s compact and discreet automation hub combines advantages of local processing with the power of cloud IoT connectivity to control, monitor and personalize smart home devices. It can be placed in any room of the house, and works with devices all throughout the home (like the kitchen, entertainment room, garage or master bedroom) and can be programmed to suit the various needs of family members. Remote access to the applications and the user dashboard can be made through a web browser on any tablet or computer.
The equally minimalist BOND bridges the connectivity gap for everyday devices such as ceiling fans or electric fireplaces. Up to six devices can be linked to one’s main existing large-scale smart-home system and, through an app, be readily controlled through one’s smartphone. More features and new device capabilities (such as motorized shades and air conditioners) will be added via app updates. The unit is certified for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant