Traverse City Record-Eagle

Real Estate News

May 4, 2012

Five New Gadgets for Your Household

Syndicated — As technology evolves, so do home conveniences. In 1992, you probably couldn't have predicted the necessity of owning a cell phone. A home computer was a luxury in the 1980s. Now nearly every household has at least one. In earlier generations, what we now consider everyday items went from luxury to standard equipment: Refrigerators, microwaves, garage door openers.

With an eye to the next round of gadgets and gizmos, we've collected a roundup of items that in 10 years most American households may not be able to live without.

Delta touchless faucet

Automatic faucet

$250 and up

This equipment is pretty standard in public restrooms, but there aren't many private homes that have the same technology. The automatic faucet contains a sensor that turns on when you're near or when you tap it. No need to even switch it off; the water will stop running once you leave the room.

(See 5 Affordable Ways to Upgrade your Bathroom.)

clickandgrow.com

Electronic flowerpot

$99 for the pot, $12 for cartridges

Attention black thumb gardeners: No need to worry if you're over- or under-watering your plant. A European company named Click and Grow has created a soil-less, electronic flowerpot that gives the exact amount of water and nutrients to whatever you're growing.

( See How Outdoor Spaces Can Sell a Home)

U-socket

USB socket

$25

You know a product has firmly made its mark on society when it creates its own sub-market of accessories. Take Apple, for example. Not only can you buy cases and cords for your iPhone or iPad, but a company has developed a USB wall socket that includes two USB ports in addition to its two standard outlet ports. Designed to charge electronics 25 percent faster, the USB wall sockets can be installed in a home's existing outlets.

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