Ten home tech innovations to enhance modern life
These ten items of home tech – from a vacuuming robot to an energy-conscious thermostat and portable air purifiers – are designed to encourage domestic bliss
We’ve scoured stores and websites to bring you a selection of new home tech – whether on sale or in development – that’s designed to improve your living space, keeping things clean, clear, easy, and more efficient. From cutting-edge coffee machines to portable purifiers, here are ten objects that’ll supercharge your space.
10 home tech wonders to enhance your space
Shield Compact Air Purifier
The follow-up device to the original Shield (above right) shrinks the distinctive hexagonal purifier down to desktop size (above left). Using the same proprietary filter tech as the larger device, the company describes the Compact as ‘your own personal protective bubble’ that you can transport with you from home to office. The geometric form is made from anodised aluminium – designed as before by Ramy Fischler – and is lightweight and easy to move.
Molekule Air Mini+ Air Purifier
The Molekule Air Mini+ is a desktop-sized air purifier designed to be moved around to the spot it’s needed most. The 30cm-tall cylinder is operated via an app and incorporates the company’s own filtering technology to break down larger particles in the air. This system is said to be capable of ‘destroying pollutants 1,000 times smaller than the standard filters must [...] to qualify as HEPA’, suggesting the compact 3kg device is the ideal home-worker companion. Available in grey, white, and beige, with a vegan leather strap, the Air Mini+ is suitable for spaces up to 23 sq m.
Fold Charger Concept by Blond
Blond’s Fold is a conceptual proposal for a new kind of charger. Developed by the London creative studio in response to the mounting piles of electronic waste (EC research suggests that around 11,000 tonnes of waste are generated each year purely from redundant chargers being discarded), the device uses a multifunctional approach to earn its longevity. The studio, which developed the Fussy natural deodorant last year, wanted a device that could be repaired and upgraded. The wireless charge pads can be configured in a number of ways, with a modish transparent case design that pairs well with any device. The packaging has also been pared back to the bare minimum.
Samsung Bespoke Jet Vacuum Cleaner
With battery technology improving, going cordless can be a quiet revolution for cleaning devices, traditionally bulky machines that are tethered by their cords. Samsung is following in Dyson’s footsteps with its Bespoke Jet model, which comes with an added bonus of a self-cleaning wall dock. This ‘Clean Station’ charges the cleaner and empties the dust canister, providing up to an hour of run time. There’s also the option of a spare battery that can be swapped in to extend the session, with additional attachments for hard floors.
Carbonator Pro Sparkling Water Maker
Swedish design company Aarke believes that hard plastics have no place on the kitchen counter. Its new Carbonator Pro is finished in stainless steel and comes with a glass bottle, making it the most elegant and robust sparkling water maker we’ve come across. The original Carbonator was launched in 2016, and the new version has taken three years to develop. Robotically tested through 10,000 cycles, the Pro has a clever locking function that’s designed for smooth one-handed operation.
Capra Press Coffee Maker
The Capra Press is a new take on the traditional French Press. The device has been successfully crowdfunded by Canadian firm Capra, and features innovative features that update the classic French design, unchanged for a century. The major change is the addition of a removable bottom that allows for easy disposal of coffee grounds, as well as a filter system that keeps the grounds separate from the brewed coffee to stop the flavour from being ruined over time. The stainless steel carafe is fully insulated so there’s no need to reheat your second cup.
LG Ultra Short Throw Projector
The plummeting price and expanding size of flat-screen televisions have kept projector systems out of the mainstream. If you’re still extremely screen-phobic, LG’s newest Ultra Short Throw (UST) laser projector system offers clarity without compromise. USTs are designed to be placed next to the wall, rather than be mounted on shelves or the ceiling, and the LG HU715Q projector can create a 100in screen image in full 4K, even when it’s placed 22cm from the wall. Kvadrat provides the fabric covering for the front panel, making this the subtlest way of sneaking the big screen experience into your home.
Hive Thermostat Mini
There are myriad ways of reapproaching and reassessing your home energy usage, and right now is an excellent time to start making savings. Hive’s new Thermostat Mini is a compact device for monitoring home heating, fully app controlled for refined scheduling. The Mini’s main claim to fame is its ability to detect whether you’ve left the house – combine this with a Hive Door Sensor and you can have the heating switch off automatically when you’re not at home. The Hive App also allows for complex personalised heating and hot water scheduling.
Ikea Symfonisk and Vappeby speaker lamps
The Swedish giant continues its push into personal electronics with two new sound-equipped lamps. Symfonisk (above top) is a collaboration with Sonos, a Wi-Fii enabled musical lampshade that packs a powerful speaker in its base and has a variety of shades to choose from. Another sonic innovation is in the form of the Vappeby lamp (above), this time a Bluetooth speaker which combines a light in the form of a traditional lantern. The Vappeby has built-in Spotify Tap – allowing you to pick up a podcast or piece of music from exactly where you left off.
Eufy Robovac X8 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
Eufy makes a dizzying range of robotic vacuum cleaners, but the flagship model is the new Robovac X8. This pernickety puck can be tasked with all the day-to-day cleaning, with advanced navigation intelligence to protect your furniture. Big open spaces are always a best-case scenario for any form of domestic robot, and hard floors are also easier to sweep than swathes of shag carpet. That said, the Robovac is adept at cleaning up after shedding pets and can also be operated via Alexa or Google Assistant for remote dusting. §