Thanks, Whirlpool, for sponsoring my CES series. Check out the special CES section of their website to see what they’re planning for the kitchen of the future.
Years ago Apple proclaimed there was an app for everything but new innovations and partnerships are creating products that work with your smartphone to streamline the most everyday tasks. From growing better plants, caring for your pet when you’re not home, keeping an eye on a wandering toddler, better home automations systems, and engaging in charitable tasks, here are some highlights from the Consumer Electronics Showcase (CES) that allow you to do even more with your smartphone.
Track your baby with a Bluetooth pacifier
Digital footprints begin with newborn photos being posted to social media at birth and now a baby’s first digital device can be the Bluetooth enabled Pacif-i by Blue Maestro. This pacifier device can be used to take your baby’s temperature and set up as a geo-fence to alert you when your toddler wanders too far. All information is collected via the app and can serve as a helpful took for sick visits to the pediatrician or to monitor your child’s health. This is definitely one pacifier you don’t want to lose!
Take Gardening to the Next Level for Healthier Plants
I love house plants and even though I have the best intentions, I always forget to water them. Remotely water your plants thanks to Parrot H2O. Of course, you still have to remember to fill Parrot H20 with water when it starts to run low but it’s a step in the right direction for neglectful plant owners like me.
Thankfully I’m far better at keeping plants alive in our garden where regular summer thunderstorms help me keep our backyard vegetable garden watered but I often wonder if I’m giving our garden what it needs for optimal vegetable production. I was excited to learn more about Edyn, a smart solar stake that sticks directly into the ground and monitors the moisture and nutrient contents of the soil for healthier plants.
Care for your pets when you’re away from home
New dog owners that a key component of training is consistency but this is hard to do when you’re not at home. Designed for dog and cat owners, PetCube allows you to keep an eye on your pets and issue voice commands from afar through the mobile app so you can tell Fido to drop your Louboutins or get off the couch.
I know we always feel horribly when we forget to feed Oliver before going out to dinner or afternoon plans stretch later than expected and we’re late to feed our poor dog dinner. Guilty pet owners can fill the PetNet SmartFeeder with food and trigger food to drop via an app making hungry pets very happy.
Automate your laundry to save on energy costs
Thanks to a partnership between Whirlpool® and Nest, the Smart Top Load Washer and Dryer and Dryer helps families delay laundry cycles during peak energy times in order to save you money. Data provided by your power company to your in-home Nest allows it to know peak energy usage times. This helpful feature allows you to put a load of laundry in the washer or dryer and delay the start time until Nest determines a better time for your loads to run. Because Nest knows your family habits, you can also rest assured that a load run in the middle of the night won’t wake sleeping family members because your laundry pair will automatically switch to quiet mode so you can get a good night’s sleep and still wake up to fresh laundry! Another great feature for the dryer is the 20 minute refresh feature that tumbles the load in your dryer every 20 minutes to keep it fresh and wrinkle-free until you’re able to take the clothes out.
Give to Charity Regularly with Connect to care™
What if donating to charity was just part of what you did everyday? That’s the idea behind Whirlpool’s® Connect to care™ program. We’ve seen nonprofits use smartphones as tools to allow individuals to easily give through text-to-donate type programs but often times, these are one time donations. Whirlpool’s® Connect to care™ program allows you to set up a way to give each time you do a load of laundry.
I have to admit that I loved this concept when I first read about it but after seeing the app, I love it even more. It’s not only easy to set up but I love the satisfaction the app provides when you see the screen displaying how much your family has donated for the month, during your overall involvement in the program, and the grand total donated by those participating in the Connect to care™ program. Connect to care is a smart feature available in the Whirlpool® Smart Top Load Washer and Dryer coming in spring of 2015.
The improved automated home allows you to peek into rooms at night and know who is at your door even when you’re not at home
From smart plugs to a myriad of home automation systems featuring a network of connected cameras, 2015 will bring a wealth of new products to the market. While we’re waiting for a standard that will allow these many devices to talk to each other via one app, products like Piper NV work well as a standalone device to let you peek in on your home even when it’s dark.
I had a chance to test out Piper a couple of months ago and it was a favorite because of the easy set up process and lack of monthly fees. With Piper’s debut of Piper NV, we can now peek into our homes even in the dark since NV stands for night vision. Home monitoring just got a bit smarter thanks to the ability to pull up the Piper app and check on rooms in your home during the day and at night. For more information about Piper, visit my posts:
- Why Piper is More Than a Home Security System: Exciting Platform, Different Functions, Attractive Package & Affordably Priced
- My Family’s Experiences with Piper as a Tool for Home Automation and Security
There are many signs that alert potential thieves to the fact that you’re not home. The accumulation of mail and newspapers, cars that haven’t moved in days, and never being home to answer the doorbell. But what there was a product that integrated a doorbell and a camera and triggered an audio and video feed on your smartphone every time someone rang the bell?
Meet Ring. Early last year I was introduced to Ring’s predecessor through a segment I filmed with Claire Shipman for Good Morning America. I watched as someone rang her doorbell and she was able to answer it through her smartphone. Shipman could see who was at the door through the camera’s video feed and could talk to them from her smartphone. The beauty of Ring is that the individual at your door doesn’t ever know if you’re answering your door from your kitchen, beach house, or while out running errands. Ring allows you to know who is at your door regardless of where you are.