10 gadgets that really, really shouldn't be connected
Sometimes you just have to ask... why?
The potential for connected devices to serve us better by talking to each other behind the scenes is enormous, but sometimes new gadgets get hooked up for the sake of it.
Technology is supposed to make life easier, not more complicated. Being able to share your music collection anywhere, pick up where you left off with a movie, or have the heating automatically turn on five minutes before you get home is great, but we draw the line at bossy cutlery and sentient toilets.
Some of these connected devices are walking a fine line between smart and seriously over-engineered, and some of them are just plain mental. But the sad thing is we know you'll do what we did for at least half of them: secretly admit you like the idea of having a mini robot in everything.
This smart cup hooks up to your iPhone or Apple Watch via Bluetooth to keep you fully apprised of your water intake. You can enter height, weight, age, gender, and other details, and the app will decide how much you need to drink.
Why trust your own feelings of thirst when a smartphone notification can tell you when to take a sip? Maker Mark One originally hit the headlines after getting over a million Kickstarter orders for a smart cup that can detect what you're drinking and give you a nutritional breakdown, but that one's still in development, so this nagging cup will do for now.
If you thought a smart fridge was taking things a bit far, take a sip of your drink and prepare to spit it out in a cloud of disbelief.
This is an egg tray that connects to your smartphone to tell you how many eggs you have and track their freshness.
There are LED lights to highlight the oldest egg, so you devour them in the most economical order, and you'll get a push notification when you're running out.
What do you think? Egg-xcellent or egg-regious? Are you shell-shocked? Surely they must be yolking.
OK, we're sorry.
Lixil Satis Android Toilet
The Japanese are notoriously fastidious about bottom hygiene. Their love of technological toilets is well known, but heated seats and music to preserve your modesty are one thing – a Bluetooth toilet that enables you to use an Android app to flush, lift the seat, activate the bidet jet stream, and choose music to play through the built-in speakers is something else.
The app even includes a section on usage history - a poo diary, if you will - to paint a detailed picture of your toilet trips over the years.
Seriously? You need an app to help you flush?
Did you know that the skipping rope is one of the best exercise tools ever invented? It's beautifully simple, you can use it just about anywhere, and it gives you a real workout.
But wouldn't it be better if it had a bunch of sensors in the handles that send data to your smartphone and 23 LEDs in the rope to display your jump count or burned calories? Now you can see accurate data from every workout session, but you'll have to remember to charge your rope up before you go.
Obviously. That's the future, right there.
Twist Lightbulb Speaker
Smart light bulbs have been flooding the market, ushering in a brave new world of remote control colour changes, or self-adjusting patterns that match the time of day, but Twist takes things further by packing a Bluetooth speaker in there, too.
There are actually quite a few musical light bulbs on the market now, and by all accounts this one sounds just as good as a normal Bluetooth speaker. It should appeal to minimalists, but at $130 a pop these bulbs aren't cheap, and what if you want to listen to music in the dark?
Oral-B SmartSeries Toothbrush
If you aren't a young child and you don't have an overbearing partner, then there's a good chance that you're missing out on being nagged constantly about brushing your teeth properly.
Fear not, because Oral-B can solve that with this Bluetooth toothbrush that will prompt your smartphone to tell you that you missed a bit, or didn't brush for long enough.
We're sold on the value of electric toothbrushes, but when a toothbrush app asks us to choose a dental care journey, we can't help feeling things might have gone too far.
Quirky, the same company behind the Egg Minder, is at it again, but this time it's a Wi-Fi connected piggy bank that allows you to check the contents from your smartphone.
You could argue that the Porkfolio kills the traditional fun of having a mystery store of cash for a rainy day, but wait, did we mention that it has an accelerometer built-in too?
That's right, it can alert you when someone has raided your piggy bank. It might be a great idea...if it worked, which it mostly doesn't according to the reviews.
Philips Smart Shaver Series 7000
Do you really understand the nuances of your face, skin, and hair type? Well, the Philips Smart Shaver does, and it can hook up to a smartphone via Bluetooth to create a personalised shaving routine for you.
It will track your shaving performance, give you pointers on how to improve, and allow you to customise its action for the most comfortable shave.
If you thought shaving was just about getting rid of the hair on your face, it's time to think again.
Did you know that eating too fast and eating too much makes you fat? Do you have trouble setting a proper eating pace? Why not let your fork do all the hard work for you?
The HAPIfork monitors your mouthfuls, and it can vibrate and light up to warn you when you're eating too quickly. It can also transfer all your meal stats via Bluetooth to a smartphone app, so you can plot a chart that shows the exact moment you got fat.
It's also a great memento of the time your life took a sharp downward turn when you decided you couldn't use a fork properly without guidance.
The push to smarten up our kitchens continues unabated with the world's first smart Bluetooth-connected frying pan. It hooks up to an app in real-time, so you can see the weight of everything you add to the pan, as you add it, and check the exact temperature.
You do have to tell it what each ingredient is, but you can just loudly say "Tomatoes" as they go in, and the app will calculate the relevant nutritional information, with a lovely pie chart breakdown of the sugar, fat and carbs your final meal contains.
We don't mind the sound of this one - except we've never had a pan that we haven't instantly welded egg to, and this isn't the cheapest option around.
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