Quit whining and thank the world of smart tech for solving these #VeryBritishProblems for you in 2016...
1 – Your tea going cold
The only thing more horrifying than dropping half your chocolate digestive into your tea (apart from dropping your entire chocolate digestive into your tea) is taking a sip of your cuppa to find it’s gone tepid. Just the very thought of it is enough to make us want to…well, soothe our woes with a nice cup of tea.
Thanks to this Glowstone mug, however, it’s a nightmare we needn’t fear. A fine bone china mug packing smart sensors, a slim heater and a gently glowing light, Glowstone is designed to keep your hot drink at the perfect drinking temperature from the first to last sip.
Everything about it is automatic, so you don’t even need to think about keeping your tea hot. It just happens. The mug can sense as soon as there’s a hot drink inside it, and then work to keep that drink at the best temperature for enjoying it. Apparently for tea and coffee, that’s between 60°C and 65°C.
The glowing ring of light will illuminate the moment it senses there’s liquid inside too, acting as a gentle reminder that your mug’s got your back. Only when you’ve taken your very last sip of tasty hot tea will the light go off and the heater switch off. Brilliant, right?
2 – That annoying colleague you can’t stand
Everyone has that one colleague who drives them round the bend, but God forbid we actually just suck it up and get on with our day. Nope; instead of being a beacon of positivity, we can now angrily press this Muzo button, which is basically the tech equivalent of sticking our fingers in our ears and shouting, “LA LA LA!”
Muzo is a noise-cancelling smart button that reckons it can drown out the noise and hubbub of your busy, stressful environment using vibrations and soundscapes. Effectively, it’s a personal zone of silence calm that you can carry with you everywhere.
When you place it on a nearby and tap it gently to switch it on, Muzo instantly sets to work blocking out the racket that’s driving you ballistic. Using its neo-magnetic system, itd simultaneously generates realistic soundscapes while sending even vibrations towards the surface its attached to.
It doesn’t completely mute the distractions, but it should be effective enough to make the shrill cackle of Tracy from two desks away pale into insignificance. Aaaand…breathe.
3 – Forgetting your brolly when there’s a 110% chance of rain
It wouldn’t be very British of us at all if we didn’t bring up the weather, and we have just the ticket for the rainy days ahead. This Qube smart lightbulb is an app-controlled bulb that can actually flash at you when you’re on your way out to let you know there’s rain on the horizon.
Qube does this using motion sensors and a WiFi connection. Place the bulb in a light fitting right next to your front door, and it will connect to an app on your phone to check what the weather’s going to be like the second you walk past. If there’s rain a-comin’, it’ll flash in a colour of your choosing. Brilliant, right?
Just like the big shots such as Philips Hue and Hive lightbulbs, Qube can be also scheduled from an app on your phone to automate your home’s lighting routine around your lifestyle. When you get a call or a text, Qube will flash to let you know you need to check your phone too.
Of course, the real fun with smart lightbulbs is introducing colour into your home. The app’s colour wheel lets you choose from around 16 million colours to beam throughout the house, with the ability to shine up to a dazzling 1000 lumens.
4 – Your dark, sun-deprived house
British winters are dark, and darkness makes us sad. That’s just science. But with a spot of pure magic from this Lucy smart mirror, you could turn your home into a beacon of happy-making sunlight all year round.
A circular mirror housed in a transparent orb, Lucy is like a miniature sun inside your home. Place Lucy anywhere where she can easily catch the sunlight, and she will intelligently follow it throughout the day, directing its rays onto the same spot in your room to create a radiant glow where before there was darkness.
You can even pop her in the garden and point her inside your house to literally bring the outside light in.
Lucy owes her sun-worshipping abilities to an algorithm based on smartly positioned photosensors. These constantly catch the optimum amount of rays, and direct them via a carefully positioned pointer.
She uses solar power (of course), so she wakes up in the morning and goes to sleep at night without needing to be switched on and off. She’s portable too, meaning you can place her anywhere to enjoy her illuminating talents.
5 – Your washing getting rained on
Having your day monumentally ruined by a surprise downpour from the heavens comes part and parcel with living in the UK. But washing day could be forever exempt from that rule thanks this smart little clothes peg by Omo.
A slightly larger than usual dolly peg, Peggy clips onto your clothes line just like any other peg to keep your clothes in place. But unlike its humble wooden kin, Peggy is secretly packing light, temperature and humidity sensors, and a WiFi connection to make it the world’s first ever smart peg.
By accessing local weather forecasts and data from the internet, Peggy can predict oncoming rain and instantly send an alert to your phone to warn you to bring in the washing.
What’s more, it will even keep an eye on your load when it’s in the machine, alerting you when your washing is done and even estimating how long it will take your clothes to dry based on the conditions outside.