The Best New Tech for Spring 2022
Pepcom’s Home Now event in Manhattan earlier this week gave us hands-on time with upcoming smart home, wearable, and wellness gadgets. The prevailing trend: Everything just continues to get smarter. Touchscreen tables, headphones, and air conditioners all have brains now. Here is the home tech coming this spring that stands to be the most useful for you.
AnkerMake M5 3D Printer
Don’t let its relatively compact size fool you—AnkerMake’s M5 3D printer is a pretty big deal. Larger consumer 3D printers constantly require recalibration of their trays, levels, and software. Anker has simplified the object-printing process to selecting a design and starting a job in seconds. This means anyone can frictionlessly bring 2D rendered objects to reality. There’s 7 x 7 auto-leveling, an easy three-step assembly, and AI print monitoring so you can start a project and leave it out of sight without worrying about troubleshooting. An integrated HD camera provides a livestream of progress as well as automatically captures a time lapse of each project. Perhaps the biggest innovation is the 250 mm/s print speed, which is nearly five times faster than the current average. Expect to see this as one of the most popular gadgets when it ships later this year for $799.
Withings ScanWatch Horizon
Withings ScanWatch Horizon is an analog smartwatch that includes the latest health features such as on demand electrocardiogram readings (ECG), blood oxygen (SP02) tracking, and sleep-quality analysis. Captured health data is exported to the included Health Mate app—which is nice since it integrates with native smartphone systems like Apple Health and Google Fit. That’s all in addition to standard smartwatch features like live notification updates, fitness tracking, and GPS. Unlike the meager battery life of Apple Watches or Fitbits (which can last from a single day to a week), the ScanWatch boasts a 30-day battery life. The Horizon is the newest addition to the lineup that elevates the design to a diver watch, complete with a premium rotating bezel around the sapphire glass screen, strong stainless-steel body, and protection down to 300 feet of water submersion. It looks like a traditional dress watch, combining sleek stylings and analog hands that are notably absent from many other smartwatches.
Gameboard Digital Tabletop
Gameboard is a digital touchscreen tabletop that goes head to head with the Arcade1Up Infinity Game Table we recently reviewed. And it has several advantages. For example, you can use your existing miniatures on the board for a wider variety of games like Chess or Dungeons & Dragons. Phone-to-table handoff lets you control digital pieces like cards and dice from either interface. You can even connect multiple Gameboards to expand your local tabletop experience with larger interactive maps. When you want to play with a friend over the internet, the board has no trouble pairing you up for play from anywhere with a Wi-Fi signal. Keep an eye out for its launch later this year.
Phillips TAA7306BK Headphones
While these earbuds sound fantastic and offer winged hooks for a more secure fit, so do our favorite headphones of the year—the BeatsFit Pro. The Phillips earbuds differentiate themselves by sporting a built-in heart rate monitor for discrete health tracking while you work out. And when you put them back in their case, these earbuds clean themselves with UV sanitization built-in. While they offer an awareness mode for external sound passthrough, there’s no active noise cancellation. If you don’t need complete silence, these is a great and relatively affordable set of workout and everyday buds.
TCL Portable Smart Air Conditioner with UVC
While we’re talking UV sanitization, TCL’s portable air conditioner also integrates the tech to kill germs and pollutants circulating in your home’s air. It condenses a fan, air conditioner, and dehumidifier into one compact device that y0u can control from your phone or smart assistant. At 60 pounds and 18.5 inches high, it’s slim and light enough to move between rooms easily using the attached wheels and handle, while cooling down spaces up to 400 square feet. I grew up in an older home that lacked central air, and this thing would have been an absolute blessing over the multiple window a/c units we had. And the self-evaporating design is a slick touch—you’ll never need to empty a bucket.
Altis AI Personal Trainer
Using AI and machine learning, the Altis AI Personal Trainer device accurately tracks your movements in a space to provide live feedback during exercise. Its body is about the size of a compact soundbar and sits neatly below your TV. After gathering information from you, the device comes up with personalized routines that you follow along with as it tracks your body in real time. Think of it like a crossover between Wii Fit and Microsoft’s Kinect systems from a decade back, but with 1:1 tracking accuracy. With every bend, push, and pull someone made during the demo at Pepcom, the AI corrected the errors in their form while tracking reps. We’re excited by the idea of a home gym that takes up minimal space and blends right into the living room.
Black + Decker Kitchen Wand
We have a soft spot for all-in-one kitchen appliances like the Ninja Foodi S301. This nifty Black + Decker multitool is another to add to the list of favorites. It packs six devices— including everyday gadgets like a seasoning grinder for salt or pepper, a whisk, and an immersion blender—into a compact body. When you need to switch between functions, you simply swap attachments. A variable dial ensures you select the right speed for any recipe. Its compact and neat case keeps everything organized in a single place while saving storage space. You can grab your own Kitchen Wand when it hits shelves in July for $199 with all of the attachments or for $99 as just the body with a single tool (individual attachments will be sold separately).
Lenovo Smart Clock Essential
This smart speaker is a bedside alarm clock that moonlights as a home smart hub with Alexa built-in. You can use it to control your smart devices as well as see important visual information like time, weather, and temperature from your nightstand at a glance. When it gets dark, the lighting on the display automatically dims. You can use it to throw on a bedtime Spotify playlist or wake up to your favorite stations.
Eufy Security 4G Starlight Camera
Those looking for a cellular wireless security camera, rejoice—Eufy’s sharp 2K resolution has arrived. It’s been slim pickings for those who want a completely wireless cellular security camera that can operate without Wi-Fi. But the Eufy Starlight works from anywhere with a cellular 4G signal. That means it can easily provide a video signal continuously for up to three months, log location with a built-in GPS, and withstand the elements with an IP67 rating all without you forking over a subscription fee for the security service. With that said, you will of course have to foot the bill for a data plan.
Wagz Freedom Smart Dog Collar
This shock-free smart dog collar is a GPS, trainer, and health monitor for your four-legged friend. Through the app, you can track your dog’s steps, map out walk routes, and set up Keep Out Zones to create invisible fences on the fly. Using vibrations, audible sounds, and ultrasonic noise, this trains your dog to keep away from borders that you set without harming them. It’s well-designed and feature-packed, but its $249 price tag seems a bit steep. While it’s already on sale, you’ll have to join the waitlist since it’s sold out.
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