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Seven gadgets for a happy home

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Seven gadgets for a happy home

Sage Smart Oven Pizzaiolo
“It’s like writing a poem, baking a pizza,” said Sophia Loren in an interview with Desert Island Discs about why she would choose a pizza oven as her luxury on the desert island. And after spending some time with a brilliant new pizza oven from Sage, I understand where it comes from.

The pizzaiolo – that means “pizza chef” – is no ordinary local pizza maker. It claims to be the only table-top oven for the household that reproduces the sharp 400 ° C of a stone oven. It’s also foolproof: even my first few runs of poorly made dough and chronic topping overload were delicious, with leopard spots, gloriously charred floors, and ingredients that were ready in two minutes. Despite the Hades-like temperature, they were fresh and juicy too.

The Sage oven is plug-and-play and sits boldly on a kitchen worktop. It not only delivers a brutal beat of 400 ° C. The pizza is heated in three algorithm-coordinated ways. The deck – a circle made of cordierite stone – brings conductive heat to the underside of the base. There is a radiant heat source aimed at the outer ring of the upper crust and ambient convective heat focused by parabolic deflectors to cook the toppings without burning them. Be warned though. It’s still hot as hell in the Pizzaiolo – there’s no stopping it from looking burnt inside. And you will have pyrotechnic events when a stray piece of mozzarella catches fire. The machine also smokes around the door seal (this is how it should be) so either use a good exhaust fan or open the window. £ 700, sageappliances.com

Sage Smart Oven Pizzaiolo, € 700

RAK Hotspot Miner V2
If you’re looking to explore cryptocurrency’s rabbit hole, consider a hotspot miner. Our test model has been standing on a window ledge in Brooklyn for three months and conjured up more than $ 1,000 worth of helium out of nowhere.

Here’s how it works… Every “Internet of Things” device in a public place, from dog collar trackers to smart bikes, needs a nearby communication network or hotspot to connect wirelessly. The data that these gadgets generate is mainly carried by established telephone networks – the Vodafones and AT & Ts – which charge for the transmission of the information.

This is where Napster’s Shawn Fanning and British gaming entrepreneur Amir Haleem come in. Your startup Helium wants to compete with traditional providers to transport data from Internet of Things devices in its own network. They sell you a hotspot with some hardware, like RAK’s hotspot miner, and you take a percentage of the money the Helium network makes in its cryptocurrency.

What the value of a helium coin will be in the long run, who knows, but it’s in service in more than 3,400 cities in Europe and North America and could be worth a punt. $ 345, europe.helium.com

RAK Hotspot Miner V2, $ 345RAK Hotspot Miner V2, $ 345

Jura Z10 coffee machine
Jura’s new Z10 coffee maker shares all of the great features of previous Jura machines I have tested, but has a great new – and unique – feature that makes this the summer of iced latte macchiato.

In addition to the large selection of hot espresso drinks that the machine can prepare, it has a patented cold extraction process that accelerates the laborious slow pulsing of cold water over coarse coffee grounds at high pressure to produce cold espresso.

The smoothness of that first latte macchiato I made with the Z10 was unforgettable, but keep in mind that you’ll need a good supply of ice to make sure it’s perfectly chilled. If you enjoy playing barista at home, I should warn you that Jura’s models are all push-button, so there’s no manual portafilter to snap into place with a swing. In all of the recipes, however, the Jura coffee is just as good as any I’ve tried from more professional espresso machines for home use. From £ 2,145, de.jura.com

Jura Z10 coffee machine, from € 2,145Jura Z10 coffee machine, from € 2,145

Zwilling vacuum food storage
Move over Tupperware. This system for storing food under vacuum from the 300 year old Zwilling brand deserves a place in your kitchen, even if you already have an overflow of appliances. The starter kit consists of an electronic vacuum pump, two robust refrigerator-oven containers made of borosilicate glass (ovenproof up to 180 ° C) and a selection of plastic food bags. The pump sucks air from the container until everything is but a vacuum, then it turns off.

Zwilling says food stays fresh five times longer in the refrigerator, and that’s true. I got a Sunday roast for two from the London food delivery company Love Yourself. It was pretty good, but inexplicably came with a pound of roasted carrots and parsnips – enough for about eight people. After taking something every night and closing the vacuum again, the food was still okay after 14 days in the experiment. Case proven. But I won’t eat fried carrots or parsnips again until 2023 at the earliest. Zwilling sets, from £ 80, zwilling.com

Zwilling vacuum food storage, from € 80 per setZwilling vacuum food storage, from € 80 per set

SleepHub
In terms of technological sleep aids, this British SleepHub machine from Cambridge Sleep Sciences is remarkable. It looks like a bedroom stereo with a central unit and two rather heavy speakers that play a soft, pulsating hum that corresponds to the waveforms your brain creates during a sound sleep. These vary in frequency and pitch during the night to mimic what the sleeping brain should be registering. The sounds are designed to train your brain to adapt. The annoying hum is then masked by ambient noise of your choice, from white noise to a flowing current to trains.

While a bit of a hassle, a team of neuroscientists and sound engineers spent 10 years developing it and it seems to be working. An insomnia friend who tested it (and hates technology) reluctantly admitted that it was “really helpful.” Other users report that their Fitbits and similar sleep trackers record longer and in better quality when they use the device. £ 399, sleephub.com

Sleep stroke, € 399Sleep stroke, € 399

Smart iKessel 3.0
A voice operated kettle is not something I would fall in love with. But the Smarter iKettle 3.0 is a nice gadget. The app allows you to sync the kettle to turn it on when your alarm goes off in the morning (a 2020 rotation of the 1960s teasmade) and set the temperature you want (depending on whether you have coffee or different types of tea); It also tells you from a distance how full the kettle is or not.

For parents of bottle-feeding babies, there is Formula Mode that allows you to set the kettle to boil at a specific time of the night to suit your child’s feeding regime. It will then notify you when it has cooled down to the optimal temperature for use. There’s also Home Mode which uses geolocation to turn the kettle on when it detects you’re just minutes from your front door. The app can be integrated with Alexa, Google Home and Siri, so you can instruct the kettle from your desk. Really hot technology. £ 119, smarter.am

Smarter iKettle 3.0, € 119Smarter iKettle 3.0, € 119

Arlo Essential indoor camera
I doubt the past 18 months have been a great time selling home security equipment. But now that going out – and even away – is back, securing your home should be a consideration. I’ve already featured Arlo’s webcams, which have an exceptional reputation but can be complex multi-camera installations with the cameras attached to a dedicated hub. It now has the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera, a simple one-box security system that connects directly to your WiFi.

It has most of the features you’d expect from a more expensive camera – 1080p HD video and motion alerts for your phone, night vision, up to 12x zoom, two-way audio communication to really scare intruders – and more, if you have a small monthly subscription. It also has a physical privacy screen for the home that can be slid into position remotely via the phone app.

The system also sends visible videos to your Apple Watch when the camera detects suspicious movement – so you can avoid the hassle of taking your phone out in a meeting, for example. £ 119, arlo.com

Arlo Essential indoor camera, € 119Arlo Essential indoor camera, € 119

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