It’s amazing how far home tech design has come, even since we started this site six years ago. What once may have looked sleek and amazing — a baby monitor, a humidifier, even a lawnmower — now looks clunky and dated compared to what’s available to us now. Prepare for your minds to be blown by some of these designs.
How wonderful to be able to beautiful our spaces so very practically.
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An air quality monitor
The AWAIR Air Quality Monitor is pretty smart as a piece of home technology: It tracks temperature and humidity in a room, as well as CO2 levels (eek) in the air, plus dust and chemicals. It also plays nice with your Nest Thermostat and Alexa. But it also happens to be sleek and gorgeous, in a natural walnut frame that blends seamlessly with any decor.
We fell in love with the Dyson humidifier at first sight because, duh. Dyson has pretty much pioneered the idea of gorgeous home tech design. But it’s not just a pretty face — it kills 99.9% of bacteria, and has a brilliant UV Cleanse technology to kill any bacteria before it has a chance to be pumped out into the room through the ultrafine mist. Gorgeous for any modern baby nursery — or any room at all.
The DEGRÉ auxiliary radiator and air conditioner is designed to be controlled with the push of a button or a few taps on your smartphone. But what’s really amazing about are its completely reimagined looks. Belgian industrial design company áç©ëñt collective (you can just say accent) describes their creation as “playful,” and you know…they’re right. My daughter even saw this photo, said, “wow…cooooool!” Then asked if it were a toaster.
How nice to be able to look at a soft, tactile, upholstered portable radiator instead of those hugh clunky versions that haven’t evolved much in decades. And it’s so safe, you can even dry your clothes on it. Something I know I could use a lot as a parent.
The one issue: It’s still a concept. Someone manufacture this, please! (h/t design boom)
I remain one of the biggest Sonos fans anywhere, and the Sonos Sub is one stunning piece of audio tech. It was first launched in 2011 as part of the innovative wireless Sonos speaker system that’s now become de rigeur for audiophiles everywhere, and the design remains so sleek and timeless, it hasn’t even needed an update. In fact, I’m convinced it was designed for couples who fight about cluttering up living areas with traditionally clunky ugly audio equipment. So, it’s a marital aid, too! Plus, it promises “face-melting bass.” Who among us could say no to that?
A baby monitor
Long gone are the days that baby monitors looked like clunky walkie-talkies or industrial security cams. Withings is hot on Dyson’s tail as far as gorgeous home tech design offerings, and their new Withings Home Plus fits the bill. This beautiful little wooden cylinder looks like a combo between a Bluetooth speaker and a modern bird house, but it’s actually a smartphone-connected video and air quality monitor that also can toggle into baby monitor mode; just use the app to program a variety of light and sound programs to keep your baby asleep. Hopefully.
Yes, speakers have gotten increasingly gorgeous over the years so it’s not entirely surprising that at some point it would come to this — and from the audio geniuses at Bang & Olufsen, no less. The BeoSound Shape modular wall speakers are as much art installation as audio installation, in enough colors and possible honeycomb configurations to suit any environment. You can connect as many as 44 of them together, which I imagine would suffice. But you’ll have to wait until Fall, 2017, when they’ll be available.
Yep, there’s now Roomba-style lawnmower and it’s so sleek, it looks like something out of WALL-E. The Honda Miimo intelligent robotic lawnmower is designed to follow the layout of your garden as it works to cut grass finely with smartphone app control, eliminating both unsightly lawn clippings, garage clutter, and countless spousal arguments all at once. Unfortunately, it’s still only in the UK right now. But it should be stateside, ready to tackle suburban lawns and scare countless housepets by June.