Viewers of a certain age will remember when all you did with a phone was talk through it. This demographic has watched with amazement as a household staple morphed into a multi-functional tool that touches every aspect of home and work life—from schedules to healthy eating to systems control. Right alongside, the home care industry was coming up with a new generation of multi-functional appliances and tech that turns toaster ovens, blenders, fans, and televisions into double- or triple- duty home helpers.
Toaster ovens, for example, from brands like Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach and Breville now come with steam, bread-proofing, dehydrating and air fryer functions. Breville’s line up includes a Combi Wave toaster that’s an air fryer, convection oven, and microwave, which strikes me as a highly useful combination of functions, and a terrific way to save space.
Televisions have gone from a single-function unit to a vehicle for everything the internet has to offer. Fortunately, that includes art.
Newer models from Samsung function just as conventional televisions do, but when not turned on for viewing, they can display art. The Samsung Frame (see featured pic above) can access over 1,200 pieces of artwork from world-renowned artists and galleries. Pieces are available as a single purchase or a monthly subscription. Another model gives users the ability to rotate between horizontal and vertical orientations with their television – just like a (really, really big) smartphone or tablet.
Dyson’s Pure Hot+Cool purifying heater fan delivers efficient heating in winter and cooling in summer. As a bonus, it monitors air quality: using an algorithm to sense air-borne pollutants, it captures them in a HEPA and carbon filter system that catches 99.97 per cent of pollutants up to 300 times narrower than a human hair. It then projects that purified air throughout the space.
That matters because indoor air—which we breathe in increasing amounts—can become stagnant and contain such pollutants as benzene from scented candles, dander from pets, allergens, and Volatile Organic Compounds from cosmetics, hair spray, perfume, cleaning products, and gas stoves.
There’s a clever new cold and hot blender from Ninja that combines a 1400-watt motor base with a 64-ounce glass pitcher for making smoothies, frozen drinks, and ice cream recipes with an 800-watt heating element.
That means it does everything from crushing ice to liquefying fruits and veggies AND makes wonderfully fresh hot soups and sauces very quickly, and melts chocolate or cheese—while generating less heat than conventional appliances, and taking up less space. Don’t worry about odour transfer between your tomato soup and strawberry ice cream—the clean cycle is very efficient. I know—I made both.