Get ‘more connected’ in 2015 with these smart home products

DO you really need an app to tell you to brush and floss? It seems every household appliance is getting some smarts these days, meaning some connection to a phone app and the broader Internet. But then what? There are plenty more if you look around, but to give you a feel for what that connectivity brings, here’s a closer look at a few “smart” products for the home.

CoffeemakerThe Smart Coffeemaker

Want to start the day right? A Smart Optimal Brew edition of the Mr. Coffee coffeemaker lets you schedule brewing or start the machine remotely, such as when you’re still in bed or a few minutes from the front door. It won’t do the more annoying tasks of refilling the water and replacing the coffee grounds, though. The coffeemaker uses WeMo’s app from Belkin, which means the coffeemaker might one day coordinate with light switches, motion sensors and other WeMo-enabled products. (www.mrcoffee.com/coffeemakers)

ToothbrushThe Smart Toothbrush

Yes, a toothbrush. And the Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries electric toothbrush with Bluetooth connectivity comes with a free app with a timer that tries to make sure you spend two minutes brushing — 30 seconds on each quadrant of your teeth. The app then reminds you to brush your tongue, floss and rinse with mouthwash (it sends notifications when you’re not doing these consistently). The app also offers weekly and monthly charts on your brushing activities. (www.oralb.com/bluetooth-toothbrush)

The Smart Scale

Smart-ScaleWithings’ Smart Body Analyzer will be more than honest to tell you how much weight you’ve gained, so don’t be offended, as you’ll soon find it to be one of the more useful connected products. You have to stand on it for longer than a typical bathroom scale as it logs your weight, body fat, heart rate and air quality. That data will automatically transfer to an app — the same one used by other Withings’ products, including a fitness tracker. The app also takes advantage of Apple’s HealthKit system to sync with Apple’s Health app and data from rival vendors. Up to eight people in a household can use the same scale. (www.withings.com)

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