Smart Home

Drop connected buoy makes a splash by continuosly monitoring your pool

While a pool is a perfect antidote to a hot, sticky day, maintaining it over the long-term can quickly prove to be a hassle. Keeping its water balanced is a tricky game requiring the right amount of the right products at the right to ensure quality. However, balancing kits can be involved and unclear, leaving owners unsure of what to do.

The drop Wi-Fi connected pool monitor is a solar-power buoy that continuously monitors the temperature, pH, and chlorine levels of a pool. With this information, the iOS/Android drop app can create custom maintenance plans complete with recommendations on which products should be purchased, and how often they should be used. drop takes the guesswork of maintaining up to three pools for up to a week without sun with the option of maintaining more for $9 a month. In addition, an accelerometer inside detects suspicious movement too, sending a smartphone alert when it does. Backers can expect their own drop by June 2016 for $199. Drop Designs Inc. is hoping to raise $100,000 by July 9th, 2016.

With ideas like drop and the Quack Vac out in the wild, it’s never been easier to take care of a pool. drop offers users just enough valuable information to make it worthwhile, with a solar panel truly making the product you can set and forget.

Connected Objects Cooking

ChefBot helps you whip up your next delight; prevents burning

Generally, there are two ways a kitchen can be thought of. It can be the soothing, relaxing part of the home where delicious, homemade meals are prepared. Or it can be the part of the home where the refrigerator, toaster oven, and microwave are located. Unfortunately, the latter rings true for most. As easy as any cooking show makes it seem, the process of creating a meal from scratch is loaded with subtlety essential to the recipe itself. However, most people don’t have the magic touch, making cooking difficult and arduous.

The ChefBot may look like a regular kitchen scale, but hiding within is a Bluetooth-enabled kitchen assistant. This device weighs ingredients, provides a running calorie count of them, and leads users through any recipe uploaded into the device with the ChefBot companion app for iOS or Android, all while streaming music through Bluetooth. The device’s stainless steel construction houses multiple voices or a TFT display that communicates this information a user, and everything is built to be water-resistant to avoid unseemly accidents from seriously damaging the unit. The Bluetooth version of the ChefBot is $99, while the Wi-Fi unit is $149. ChefBot is expected to ship April 2015 provided the campaign raises $50,000.

The glut of connected kitchen objects makes it seem like no one in America can cook. Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen, but there is certainly a variety of them. The ChefBot’s design is underwhelming, but the actual product is priced well, offering just enough functionality to be valuable. Its choice of material makes it superior to Drop, another scale that seeks to lend a helping hand but it does so while connected to an iPad, a device people might not want in the kitchen at all.

Cooking Tablet Accessories

Go from culinary chump to champion chef with Drop

The Premise. Ask any college student or bachelor and most of them will agree: cooking is nowhere as easy as mom made it out to be. Whether there isn’t room in the budget to botch a meal or if anything more advanced than sandwiches and microwave pizza is too difficult, making delicious, fresh meals requires help.

The Product. In terms of actual physical product, Drop is merely a kitchen scale that connects to the iPad in order to display its results. However, the iPad app is more than a glorified scale readout. Drop can walk users through recipes, make suggestions for successful improvisation, and send alerts when it’s time to get back into the kitchen for the next step. Drop functions essentially as a powerful digital kitchen instructor that just so happens to also be a scale, supporting iPad Air, Mini, 3rd gen, and 4th gen.

The Pitch. The promotional video for Drop really captures the essence of how exhilarating it can be to correctly prepare a complex meal, whether sharing it or not. In a brief 90-second presentation, viewers get a full clear picture of almost everything Drop can do, meaning there’s no lull or dragging in the clip. The website for Drop is bright, engaging, and features a strong balance of information with images. It’s similar in many ways to other pre-order websites, but the Drop color scheme and product identity make it stand out a bit.

The Perks. Drop is expected to drop this fall, and can be pre-ordered for $80. The first 2,000 orders also don’t pay any shipping costs.

The Potential. Frankly as far as Drop is concerned, the product itself is fairly underwhelming. Smart kitchen scales have been done before, and any serious kitchen maestro probably already has one in their arsenal. Where Drop really separates itself from the competition, and does so by a very wide margin, is in the iPad app that Drop works with. Covering everything from substitute ingredients to recipe scaling based on number of diners or amount of ingredients remaining, Drop makes sure that nothing in the kitchen comes as a surprise. The presentation is great, the device looks friendly and easy to use, and the end results promise to be both attractive and tasty. Seasoned experts may not find much use for Drop, but for the less confident cooks or those just starting out, this tool promises to do more than its weight in the kitchen.