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Do you know someone who loves technology and has recently moved home? Or perhaps your best friend is someone with geeky tendencies, and is also incredibly house-proud? With the holiday season looming, you might be wondering what to get that person.
We’ve got a variety of gadgets which range in price from less than $40, to just short of $500.
Drop Kitchen Scale ($100)
The humble kitchen scales are in dire need of a refresh. What if there was something that could not only accurately tell you how much of an ingredient you’re weighing, but also help you walk through a recipe?
Drop does that, and more. The device – which is heat and water resistant – connects to an iPad over Bluetooth LE, and has a battery life of over one year. There are no cables to speak of, and the companion app can even help you substitute and scale ingredients in your recipes.
If you’re looking for other ways to use your iPad in the kitchen, check out these four apps that will make you a better cook.
iRobot Roomba 770 ($450)
Nobody likes making vacuuming. Nobody. It’s tiring and noisy, but (as anyone with allergies knows) it as to be done. But now, you don’t have to drag a heavy, cumbersome Dyson across your living room. Meet the iRobot Roomba. It will change how you do chores, for the better.
We’ve reviewed an earlier model, and were pretty impressed with it. This hockey-puck shaped robot vacuum automatically patrols your home, sucking up any dirt, hair, muck or debris that lies in its path. When it finishes its task, you don’t need to put it away. It automatically returns to its docking cradle, and recharges its extra-long life battery.
Nest Learning Thermostat ($250)
Being a homeowner is expensive. You’ve got to pay a mortgage, taxes, and utilites. I don’t know of any appliances which can help with the first two items, but the latter? Definitely. Meet the Nest Learning Thermostat. It will save you money.
It plugs into your central heating system, and allows you to control the heating of your home, even when you’re not in it. Schedule when to turn it on, and when to turn it off. It can be installed in around 30 minutes, and can be controlled through its dedicated app for iOS and Android.
There’s a wide range of smart home devices under the Nest name. One of their most notable products is a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide sensor, which we reviewed earlier this year.
Do you start your day with a cup of joe? You’ll probably want to check out this smartphone-compatible coffee maker.
Much like the Teasmade of yesteryear, you can schedule when to make a pot of the black stuff, so you can wake up to the aromas of fresh coffee. The app runs on iOS 7 and Android 4.0 and higher, and you can connect over Wifi or cellular connection. It even heats up the water according to the type of coffee you’re making. Neat!
If you like to cook from recipes you’ve found online, you’re probably well acquainted with the perils of using your iPad or laptop in the kitchen. There’s always a serious risk of accidentally getting it wet, or sending it cascading downwards to your kitchen floor.
There’s a better way. This chopping board has room enough for all your veggies, but can also hold your iPad and knife collection. It even comes with a bamboo stylus pen, so you can use your tablet without getting your screen dirty.
Love Asian food? There’s an app for that.
No–I’m serious. This Korean-made rice cooker can pair with any NFC-enabled Android device to give up-to-date progress reports on how your dinner is cooking. Besides its smartphone-enabled credentials, it also comes with voice navigation in English, Chinese and Korean, and is built with hardy, washable stainless steel.
Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker ($130)
Following on from the Cuckoo Rice Cooker, we have this WiFi and Smartphone enabled crock-pot.
The slow cooker connects to your wireless network, and has a companion app that runs on iOS and Android devices. You can connect over your cellular data connection, or via WiFi, and adjust how your slow-cooker works, including adjusting cooking time, temperature, or even turn it off.
So, over to you. Are you a whizz with technology and expecting Santa to bring you some new household appliances? What are you hoping for? Are you friends with a homeowner? What do you plan to buy them?
Let me know in the comments below.