Can you imagine a time before robot vacuum cleaners? The world was a messier place, certainly in the homes of those with too little impetus to pick up a broom or vacuum cleaner once in a while. Thankfully, for those of us who don’t mind sweeping but are less enthused about using the mop, robotic help is on its way in a more affordable model.
The Braava Jet from iRobot is a smaller version of the Braava, and has an attractive price tag: US$199. Since it is more compact than the Braava, it should be more likely to find its way into the darker corners of your kitchen and bathroom.
It uses cleaning pads for mopping and sweeping. Braava Jet sprays water onto a section of the floor, and then the pads take care of the actual cleaning. It will take two or three passes to fully clean a section. It cleans around 100 square feet per hour. You’d have to put a lot of faith in a robot to make sure your floors are fully disinfected — or, like me, be willing to live a little dangerously.
Until now, Phillips’ Hue smart lighting system has been known mostly for its capacity to set moods on a whim with custom color configurations. The latest incarnation has users’ health in mind, as it seeks to aid them in getting a better night’s sleep.
The white ambiance lights ape natural light cycles to help you sleep better. The sleep mode dims lights slowly to help you drift off, and gradually brightens when it’s time for you to rise from your slumber.
There are plenty of sunrise-mimicking alarm clocks on the market, though I suspect those already with a Hue system will find this more appealing.
My building has outside steps, a locked door, and a set of stairs before you get to my apartment. It makes the place feel somewhat secure, in that would-be intruders have a lot to contend with if they should want to enter the building. However, it’s also a pain to answer the door when I have callers. What I’d give for a way to see who’s at the door without having to go all the way outside.
Ring’s new Video Doorbell Pro is the most subtle version of the device to date — at first glance, it doesn’t look as though it houses a camera. It snags footage in 1080p-resolution video, which should make it easier to read a caller’s credentials. It also can notify you when there’s movement around your doorway.
I’m not especially enthused about the latter feature, since I truly don’t care to know all the comings and goings of my neighbors. But I’m lazy, so seeing who’s at the door from the comfort of my couch is a welcome prospect.
In the meantime, I’ll likely go on ignoring unexpected callers. Answering the door when you’ve just awakened from a nap, even one enhanced by a natural light-mimicking smart light bulb, is never enjoyable.