I write for a website called Tech Insider, so every day I’m inundated with emails and pitches for gadgets claiming to make life easier.
In recent years, some of these devices have evolved from an easy source of skepticism to things that are actually worth buying. The Amazon Echo is a genuinely useful assistant, and personally I’m all in on the energy-saving ways of smart lighting. Roombas, Nests, and WeMo switches have their virtues, too.
Other products — let’s just say it’s harder to see the mass appeal. Lately there’s been a wave of self-proclaimed smart devices that take the “things” part of “Internet of Things” very seriously. While I can’t totally dismiss them, sometimes they go past the point of utility and into the land of cynicism. (Or at least weirdness.)
To illustrate just how far the tech world is willing to go to make anything and everything connected, let’s look at a few of these things, all of which actually for real exist.
Quirky Egg Minder
The Quirky Egg Minder solves a question as old as time itself: “Why can’t I connect my egg tray to the internet?”
Made in partnership with GE, this thing syncs with your smartphone and sends you push notifications when you’re on the verge of being eggless. LED lights on the tray itself tell you which of its 14 eggs nearing their expiration date.
It’s only $13 on Amazon at the moment, which isn’t so bad compared to some of the other gadgets here, though its user reviews have been pretty brutal thus far.
The Hidrate Spark is one of a few “smart water bottles” that’ve popped up in recent years, most of which do the same thing: pair with a companion app over Bluetooth, then walk you through staying properly hydrated.
To be fair, the 24-ounce Spark does look nice, and the fact that it glows when you hit your thirst-quenching goals is cute. But paying $55 to be reminded to drink water might be a bit much, especially when you can already log this stuff with one of several free fitness apps.
Brita Infinity WiFi Connected Pitcher
Tech companies are all in on this water thing, apparently. The $45 Brita Infinity bills itself as “the future of hydration” — it works like any other Brita you’ve seen, only it can sense when its current purification filter has outlived its usefulness.
When it does, it’ll automatically order a new $6 filter from Amazon. (Brita teamed with Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service for this one, if that wasn’t clear.)
As a neglectful Brita owner myself, I could actually see this being useful in the “I’m too lazy to be responsible anyways” way. It’s certainly good business for Amazon, too. Still, it’s hard not to find the idea of automated commerce being particularly, let’s say, thirsty.
from SAI http://ift.tt/1sEVqK6