This month’s Under the Radar is written by yours truly, Victor – Yvonne’s temporarily out of commission; so to mark my cameo in the series, I want to explore tech that ring true to how I aim to live life. This month’s list of quirky, underappreciated gadgets will revolve around helping the lazy homeowner. So sit back, relax, and let these machines do the household duties for you.
Shine Bathroom Assistant
Three things are certain in life – death, taxes, and adults dreading cleaning their toilets. But what if humans can somehow automate this chore with sensors and even AI?
Shine offers just that – shaped like a blender, the device cleans your toilet bowl, without chemicals, automatically when you flush, or when you prompt it with its companion app or Alexa. To get it to work, place the device near the toilet, connect the clamp sensor to the waterline, and the tethered spray nozzle to the toilet bowl.
Fill the device with water and a cleaning pod and you’re good to go. The cleaning pod acts with the water to create electrolyzed liquid that, according to its creators, is as effective as bleach at cleaning and deodorizing toilets.
Plus, you can use it with Shine’s SAM AI app that lets you manage cleaning schedules and alert you when the sensor detects a water leak. The AI is also Alexa enabled so just holler if you need to rinse your bowl. The machine runs on batter that lasts up to six months before needing a charge.
Shine Bathroom Assistant is priced at RM413 and will be shipped February 2020.
This one’s for those who have a fluffy fur-friend at home (a cat that is), and as cute as they are, they make a mean mess when they do their business. Well, LavvieBot S is what its creators call an IOT-enabled, automated lavatory for your kitty.
So, get this right, LavvieBot does these things – it cleans automatically, refills the litter box automatically and is compatible with a companion app! The device itself looks a lot like a mini washing machine – it’s 27.7-inches tall, 19.5-inches wide and 22.9-inches long. It’s got an opening for your pet to hop into to do its business. Internally, the machine is equipped with a few sensors to detect any activity that happens inside.
Once the deuce has been dropped, the machine uses a raking mechanism to scoops droppings into a waste container, which can hold up to three-weeks’ worth of excretion. You can set a waiting period of 15-90 minutes before the machines starts the cleaning process to allow for the droi ppings to harden.
Once the litter has depleted, the machine will automatically refill the tray with more from the built-in litter silo of sorts. We said the machine is IOT-enabled, and it is – you can pair it with the PurrSong app that lets you monitor your cat, as well as its bowel movement patterns – yikes!
Have you ever been in a situation where you’re slumped in your comfy sofa, while catching up on some TV; but suddenly the sun rises ever-so-slightly, blasting your living room with enough light to power ten solar panels; but you you’re in such a comfort-induced vegetative state that you can’t be bothered to shut the curtains yourself (we’re getting to the point, bear with me).
SwitchBot Curtain is a little machine that lets you automate the opening and closing of your existing curtains. It hooks onto your curtain rail at certain right at the edge of each curtain – when prompted, it moves along the rails, copening and closing your curtains too.
It is completely wireless and can be operating with a remote; alternatively, you can use voice commands as it supports Google Home, Alexa and Siri. It also works with an accompanying app that lets your schedule when it operates, meaning you can set it to sync up with your nap time, bed time or when you wake up. Plus, the SwitchBot is powered with a 3,400mAh battery that lasts up to eight months before needing a charge.
The SwitchBot Curtain is priced at RM413 and gets you the machine itself, two hooks, and a SwitchBot Hub Mini. The product ships April 2020.
Here’s another thing people dread – laundry folding; and yes, you’ve guessed right – there’s a way to automate this too!
FoldiMate is a gadget, that’s almost as tall as a 10-year-old child, that uses AI to fold your clothes accordingly. The product was introduced at CES 2018 and has caught the attention of many for its relatively affordable $1,000 price tag – its competitor at the time, Laundroid, cost about $16,000.
How FoldiMate works is you feed it items of clothing via a front-mounted loading mechanism – the machine then eats it up like Cookie Monster eats up cookies, and then folds it within itself and out comes a perfectly folded item of clothing at the bottom.
You can feed it up to 25 pieces of clothing, any sizes ranging from age six to XXL, and it’ll fold everything within 5 minutes. It folds continuously as long as you continue to feed it.
The FoldiMate will likely cost $1,000 (RM4,176) – but once it’s ready to be mass produced, we reckon it will cost less to allow more people to afford one.