Smart home with a difference: walls become digital too

 

In the age of talking everyday aids like Alexa and Siri, of vacuuming robots and floating speakers It is not surprising that the vertical surfaces of our apartment are gradually conquered by technology: the walls. What may startle you up at first glance, offers a whole range of interesting options and options at a second glance. We can already defuse an urgent reservation arising from the idea of ​​flashing and twinkling walls by ourselves, before we go into detail: with the items selected and tried out by us, the atmosphere in the rooms remains warm and pleasant, becoming your living room never transform into a laboratory or electronics warehouse. The manufacturers of the technology gadgets for the wall presented below are very keen to adopt established designs and as many parts of traditional aesthetics as possible for their products. Imagine a completely bare wall, which we now gradually fill with (mostly) digital objects.

Picture Change

A logical, indeed almost inevitable, step in the interior evolution is the digital picture frame. Small frames with changing photos we have already known for several years. The manufacturer Meural has now implemented the principle with its two frame models Winslow (695 euros) and Leonora (595 euros) larger and more diverse.

In a screen framed of walnut or American poplar wood, you can choose from the Fundus loads dozens of paintings, both from known and unknown artists. Even large-format framed photos are - vertically or horizontally - just a few clicks away with Meural's wall decoration. Control the digital frame with either swipe gestures at the bottom or comfortable from the iPhone. You can create playlists just like in iTunes, except that here you can call pictures instead of songs in a specific order. With a swipe to the top you even get additional information about a piece of art. Amazing is the quality of digital paintings. Only when you approach the 75 x 50 cm frame, you realize that it is neither a print nor an original. Gone are the days when you once decided on a picture, framed it elaborately and then resigned to watching your choice for months or years before you got up to hang a new one.

Better yet: with In seconds, you can easily switch between holiday photos, the poster of your favorite movie star and a surrealistic picture of Magritte. Do you want to see how your own, just finished picture is made in a frame? This is not a problem with Meural. Simply download from the iPhone or iPad - done. Digital painting tools and apps are thus experiencing a considerable upgrade, and even products like the Iskn (see box) have an additional meaning.

From the leaf to the wall

With the digital photo frame from Meural and an app like Paper 53 described above, you only need a few steps to see your own artwork framed on the wall. A tool with which you can do this just as easily is called The Slate 2+ (179 Euro) and comes from the company Iskn. This is a type of tablet that you use with pen and paper. Clamp a sheet on the electronic slate clipboard and then draw on it with the Iskn pencil or pen. Both are equipped with a small ring that sends each of your movements to the corresponding Imagink app. Thus, your work is not only created on the sheet, but at the same time digitally on iPhone, iPad or MacBook. Later, you can edit the digital version in color and expand it at different levels. In the end you just have to save the finished artwork and send it to the Meural picture frame. Not only for professional artists, draftsmen and painters a fascinating and time-saving experience.

Light up

If, like us, you are a bit tired from conventional light sources dangling from the ceiling in the middle of a room or throwing a sad beam of light into a corner, you will become the delight both of the following gadgets. Helios Touch is a plug-in system, just like Nanoleaf's light panels. Both of these modular flat light links have an output element, a type of station that is wired to the wall outlet. With Helios Touch, you can magnetically click on any of the following light panels, while Nanoleaf's triangular lights are combined with connectors. Which pattern this will ultimately give you decide for yourself.

The differences between Helios and Nanoleaf lie in the details: Once connected, you stroke the individual Helios lights by hand to make it glow or turn it off again. The Nanoleaf set has a switch on the output panel, but you can also control the lamp mosaic with a complementary app. Nanoleaf is a bit more variable as it allows you to select both white light and any color combination and assign each element its own color. Some interesting combinations are already stored in the application, you can easily add your own compositions.

Helios Touch will hit the market this spring, with ten panels costing around 120 euros. Nine Nanoleaf lights cost 209.99 euros, three triangles 64.99 euros. For just € 9.99 you get so-called Flex Linkers, which you can use to arrange the panels around the corners of a room.

The Message Center

You know them from airports, railway stations, from countless films or in the smallest possible version as an alarm clock from your bedside table: old, mechanical scoreboards, which give us the information of the upcoming flights or the time on a fall leaf display. With the Vestaboard, the dream of many people, who want such a scoreboard for their own home, should come true. Spread over an area of ​​94 by 53 centimeters and spread over seven lines with 23 characters, you can send your own messages to the Vestaboard via App, display the appointments of the day, the latest tweets or even announcements by popular group chatter Slack. With IFTTT, you can also connect the Vestaboard with many other services. Even colors can be displayed, which can be especially important in the organization of groups or tasks.

The only eight centimeters deep and 13.6 kilograms heavy electronic scoreboard is also an extremely chic, classic-looking wall decoration. You can control the vestaboard from anywhere in the world and, for example, provide useful information or questions to guests of your home during their vacation.

All this beauty and function, however, has its proud, if justified, price Vestaboard available at the end of the year, you need to spend 1,850 euros if you are fast. Because later, the special introductory discount will no longer exist and the extravagant panel will cost 3,495 euros.

Mirror, Mirror

Soon, the question of how much gigabyte your mirror has is not more surprising. After all, the exclusive mirrors of the future not only depict what is being offered to them. The Fred Mirror (899 Euro), for example, shows you much more than just your own face, it is a true multimedia station, which the manufacturer refers to as a "big, beautiful wall-mounted tablet". Whichever happens to be a mirror.

In the lower part of the Fred Mirror, a screen is displayed on request, which displays not only the time and some personal data but also various apps, including Youtube, Google Maps, Google's Chrome browser or Spotify. You can control the nearly 16-inch touch screen in the 80 x 50 cm mirror in total by touch as well as voice commands. At best, it will make your bathroom a disco, in the worst case, you'll soon be shaving too. The only downside: The mirror is currently running only on Android OS, on an Apple-compatible Fred Mirror, unfortunately, you have to wait.

For the waterproof, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB supporting device interacts with smart toothbrushes, fitness Accessories like those from Fitbit or smart scales. In addition to the integrated speaker, an air purifier was even installed, so you do not breathe anything unhealthy in the environment. Temperature and humidity controls should also ensure that the Tech mirror fogged never. Fred does not (yet) make a fresh face out of a tired face - even if you make a threatening gesture instead of a wipe.

The Insta artwork

Instagram is popular with young and old and a colorful mirror of our experiences. It is a pity that some of the most beautiful captured moments often fall after a few minutes or hours of digital oblivion. New images are pushing forward: The show must go on. The Memory Wall turns your best Instagram pictures into a very special photo wall whose shape you choose and whose effect is skilfully three-dimensional. Four CD-sized, transparent frames are mounted on a device, each one can bend and tilt and rotate in a different direction. The more of these quartet frames you put together, the more productive and vivid the resulting wall decoration becomes. With the Memory Wall you (or your children) can connect the modern and the traditional world and bring the Instagram app into your own room. On the Memory Wall website, there are some suggestions as to which shapes you can build with the frames. A four-frame costs 25 euros.

Sound tiles

Bang & Olufsen has put an aesthetically sophisticated idea into action with its Beosound Shape loudspeaker tiles. The hexagonal and fabric-related components of the sound system can be connected to each other with rails. Which combination of fabrics and colors, amplifiers, speakers and acoustic damper tiles you choose is up to you. Numerous muted colors from purple to moss green are available.

As with Nanoleaf and Helios Touch, you also define the pattern that ultimately hangs on your wall; you can rearrange it at any time. Beosound Shape is also compatible with other B & O speakers. If you already own one or the other speaker of the manufacturer, it widens your multiroom system by a neatly large, acoustically versatile component.

The Danes, however, demand a respectable price for their beautiful and excellent sounding Beosound shape system. Six of the 36 centimeters wide and 32 centimeters high tiles cost - depending on the selection of amplifier, speaker and damper shares - around 4,000 euros. Since you can integrate up to eleven amplifiers, 44 speakers, and an infinite number of dampers, the price quickly adds up to an amount for which you can also equip a complete house with non-sounding tiles.

Platter on the wall

There are objects that seemingly can not be revolutionized. Their form and function are carved in stone in such a way that designers do not even dare to undertake a major overhaul. Also turntables belong to this product genre. I would like to think so. The Dutch company Miniot, so far conspicuous with beautiful wooden cases for iPhone and iPad, has managed to turn the turntable proverbial on its head. The simple Wheel (650 euros) called turntable has been reduced to the essentials and even no longer has a traditional tonearm. Only the round turntable is left after Miniot's creative extreme reduction.

But that's not all: The Wheel Turntable you can safely hang vertically on the wall, so you see from the bottom, basically only the rotating record , How, you will ask, does the music sound? On the back of the wheel are the usual connections for a system or speakers and also the pick-up needle has been stowed in the case, which means in practice that the plate side you want to hear has to point backwards, not to see

As if that was not enough, there is another clou in the pen to which each plate is attached. This is about three times as long as a conventional, located in the middle of the turntable metal pin - and it is made of wood. But above all, you give the wheel with it as a control button commands by pressing it, turn it or tilt a little bit aside: the volume, stopping and resuming the music and the switching between the songs can be regulated in this way.

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