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The best (looking) home tech for 2019

The best (looking) home tech for 2019

By Hamish McDougall

Sure, there are home gadgets out there ushering in a new world – ordering cold-smoked salmon before you’d even realised supplies were low, pre-warming your shaving cream on winter mornings, and generally solving life’s big problems. But if all that innovation comes at the cost of crowding out your drawing room with hideous appliances that belong in an early Star Wars props cupboard (hello TP Link “Talon”), well, at the risk of sounding superficial, we’d prefer to have something really, really good looking that more or less gets the job done.

Happily, in many cases, you can have both the looks and the tech. Here’s what we’ve discovered so far…


Klipsch: The Three with Google Assistant

We understand there’s some serious nerd cred in this speaker, but for the rest of us, it’s all about the cloth exterior, throwback volume knob and all-round mid-century-modern wow factor.

Best home tech – check out the retro dials on the Klipsch speaker

This iconic audio brand began in a tin shed in Arkansas in 1946, where Paul W. Klipsch invented the “Klipschorn” speaker that has been in production ever since. The latest iteration – “The Three” – is a smaller, credenza-top speaker dripping with retro chic, and comes with the option of Google Assistant for hands-free voice control of your room-filling acoustics.

What’s to love:

  • Multi-room ready;
  • Simple set up with Google Home;
  • Still drooling over that mid-century modern aesthetic.

Who it’s for:

Those of us who like to take an occasional vacation from voice assist and use an old-school dial.

Discover Klipsch: The Three.


LG OLED TV

Stop everything.

Straight from the Consumer Electronics Show 2019 comes the new LG OLED TV. It’s not what you think (a bit flatter, a bit brighter, or less bright but somehow more rich, or with a new ergonomic remote). This is – well, almost unthinkable.

In a word, it’s rollable.

Rollable.

We have no idea how it works, but this gorgeous 65-inch OLED TV screen rolls out from what is ostensibly a rather svelte Dolby speaker slash credenza-looking thing. On command, no less – it’s plugged in to both Alexa and Google Assistant.

But for those of us who resent televisions for destroying both the look and (moreover) the whole orientation of a room, there is finally a solution that does not involve foregoing television.

Watch this now:

Now that you’re hyped, there is one downside: it’s not yet on sale. Updates to come…


Dyson Pure Cool: purifying tower fan

Dyson has always been synonymous with head-turning tech, and as Singapore heats and hazes up, the Pure Cool tower comes into its own.

What’s to love:

  • The Dyson Pure Cool senses pollutants in the air and switches itself on to hunt and destroy them;
  • It also projects airflow throughout a room with a 350-degree oscillation and 290-litres-per-second fan.

Who it’s for:

People who want a full breakdown of particles and gases they’d be breathing in (if it weren’t for their Pure Cool), live on the Dyson app. But also: those who just want a piece of pretty tech.

Discover the Dyson Pure Cool.


Kohler “Eir” intelligent toilet

The Japanese may have invented the electronic toilet, but Kohler makes it cool, with the sleek new Eir “intelligent” loo.

The Eir is headlining Kohler’s “Experiential luxury” collection for 2019, combining, per director of new product development Mark Bickerstaffe, “the right experience and the right expression.”

Behold, the sleek new Kohler Eir smart toilet

What’s to love:

  • Eir automatically opens on approach;
  • It offers anti-bacterial tech, energy-saving settings, and a night light!
  • The French curve seat is ergonomically designed, and certainly looks a treat.

Who it’s for:

Who isn’t it for?

Discover the Kohler Eir.

LG Styler

It doesn’t get better looking than home tech that looks like – you.

The seductive LG Styler now comes with a mirrored front panel, so one can admire oneself in one’s newly freshened clothes.

The seductive LG Styler, now with a mirrored front panel

What’s to love:

  • Well aside from the mirror, the LG Style is a next-gen steamer that refreshes, deodorises, sanitises, unwrinkles and dries your clothes, accessories – even your kids’ grotty teddies;
  • The low-temperature system is a welcome alternative to the harshness of a tumble dryer (or the eternity of air-drying in a climate like Singapore’s);
  • It’s also plugged in to LG’s SmartThinQ tech, so the Styler can be control via an app on your phone.

Who it’s for:

Those of us who spend far too much on dry cleaning.

Discover the LG Styler.


Google Wifi

Apologies if this is starting to read like an ad for Google. It’s not. Regrettably, nobody paid us for this article, or even sent in any lovely gadgety gifts. But this is an important, if borderline mundane inclusion, as it overcomes one of the downsides of condo life – namely, that the typically concrete walls make for terrible internet coverage. (Also, picture hanging, for which Google Wifi does little.)

Where most routers blast out from a single point with steeply diminishing returns the further away you get, Google Wifi creates a “mesh” of connectivity that cushions you throughout the house. Also, where most routers equate antenna size with internet juice, and correspondingly look like hideous Transformer insectoids, Google has somehow done away with them altogether.

Best home tech Google Wifi

We have three of the svelte little things; it took the gentleman from Starhub minutes to put together; and it’s so user-friendly we haven’t had him back out since. The accompanying app offers a world of controls and insights you’ll likely never need, as well as usage stats you’ll likely never care to know.

But it’s good to know it’s all there at your fingertips.

What’s to love:

  • Priority device. Take that, YouTubeKids;
  • No really, priority device.

Discover Google Wifi via Starhub.


Plum: The latest wine contraption

Who doesn’t love a somewhat needless spot of cutting-edge wine tech? Well, for everyone truly burdened by corkscrews and fridges, Plum is the by-the-glass wine dispenser you only lately knew you needed. Sitting rather smartly on your kitchen benchtop, Plum holds two 750ml bottles, pierces the closure (including cork and screwcap) and preserves the wine via argon gas to offer 90 days of perfect drinking. It also looks rather dishy.

Best home tech Plumn wine dispenser

What’s to love:

  • The dual chamber allows for two different temperatures, because what would be the point if your cabernet came out with a chardonnay-grade chill?
  • Automatically identifies the varietal and cools to the appropriate temp;
  • Auto-cleans.

Who it’s for:

The wine enthusiast who has everything, including the bench space.

Discover Plum.


Roomba i7 robot vacuum cleaner

For some years now, the robot invasion has been led by vacuums. And leading the robot vacuum invasion is Roomba, whose latest model, the “i7”, is both a cleaner and cartologist in one. After a few practice runs to scout its new territory, the Roomba i7 creates a map of your home, and can then be told to clean specific rooms (literally, told: it syncs with Alexa and Google Assistant).

Best home tech Roomba i7 robot vacuum cleaner

This, on top of all the usual, future-is-already-here type features such as navigating furniture and toys, clambering onto rugs, and matching much larger, noisier vacuums for effectiveness.

What’s to love:

  • When the i7 senses it’s full, it returns to the docking station and unloads itself, discreetly, into the cleaning tower that holds 30 bins’ worth of filth. Genius.

Who it’s for:

However did we entertain the pets before robot vacuums?

Discover the Roomba i7.


And lastly, Gush hi tech paint

Oh yes, paint.

Paint that strips the air of indoor pollution (including the dreaded haze). Paint that kills bacteria. Paint that kills mould! Paint that transforms you home into a rainforest (sort of) by ionizing the air.

Hi-tech house paint – it's a thing, and you need it now

The all-singing, all dancing paint by Gush offers five health benefits every home needs. Meet the founders and discover the incredible benefits of painting your wall right.https://boulevard.co/gush

Posted by Boulevard.co on Thursday, 7 November 2019

Perhaps the most good-looking and cutting edge of all the home tech on this list, Gush paint offers a multitude of health benefits by leveraging the largest surface area in your home – along with some pretty out-there chemistry.

What’s to love:

  • Never mind the health benefits, we’ll have this palette…
Gush paint boasts over 200 paint colours

Who it’s for:

  • Everyone with walls.

Go further with our interview with the Gush paint founders.


Are we missing something unmissable? Get in touch and we’ll update the feature.


Where to now?


By Hamish McDougall

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