A Smarter World

You have probably heard the term “Internet of Things.” But if not, it is all about making everyday objects interconnected on a network. In order to do this, companies are continuously releasing new “smart” devices that you can control, access or optimize through phones, tablets or computers. And, judging by this list, any object is capable of getting an intelligence upgrade.

Gardening Tool: Keep Tabs on Your Plant

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The Edyn Smart Garden System consists of a Garden Sensor and a Water Valve that work together to create a thriving garden. The Garden Sensor tracks light, humidity, temperature, soil nutrition and moisture to determine which plants are best for that area. It also syncs with the Edyn app to tell you the optimal time for planting, among other things. Meanwhile, the Water Valve uses data from the Garden Sensor to adapt to every change in the weather forecast, which can save a few bucks on your utility bill. The Edyn system will be available to the public in early 2015.

Cup: What You’re Actually Drinking

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Pour any liquid into the Vessyl ($199) and within seconds, it tells you everything about what you are about to drink. The smart cup determines: Beverage type (its ultra-sensitive technology can even tell the difference between brands such as Pepsi and Coke); Caloric make-up (calories, total grams of sugar, fat, protein, sodium and caffeine); Pryme (your hydration needs) and Quantity (exactly how much you are consuming each day). All of this data gets uploaded to your smartphone in real time to help keep track of your nutrition needs and health goals.

Shoes: Let Your Feet Do the Navigating

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Ducere Technologies’ Lechal is the world’s first interactive haptic footwear—available as shoes (pictured above) or insoles to fit your own shoes. The Bluetooth-enabled footwear pairs with a smartphone app and can do everything from track calories burned to guiding you in the right direction. It was originally designed to help the visually-challenged with mobility, but anyone can just set a destination on a smartphone and the footwear will use vibrations to lead you there. And the Smart-Assist feature even alerts you about nearby landmarks or points of interests. No price was available at press time.

Listening Device: Hear What Matters Most

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Soundhawk ($279) is a Smart Listening System that can be personalized to ensure users hear what they need to hear. The small wearable device, called the Scoop, uses adaptive audio processing to enhance key sound frequencies while reducing unwanted background noise. But it also syncs with the Soundhawk Mobile App, which allows individual tuning of the earpiece to the optimal frequency, and its performance can be improved even further by selecting your current Sound Scene (indoors, driving, dining, etc.). Additionally, the system’s Wireless Mic can be placed near what you want to hear for even more clarity.

Cat Feeder: The Quantified Cat

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42ARK’s Bistro ($249) smart cat feeder can not only quantify your cat’s health, but it also uses facial recognition technology to distinguish between different cats—in case you have a whole litter. Weight sensors beneath both the feeding tray and waterer keep track of the cat’s daily consumption, while the weighing scale helps monitor the cat’s overall health. All of this data is sent to your smartphone and can be reviewed from anywhere.

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