2017’s coolest tech for your home
The smartest cooker ever, an instant water filter, and a speed-drying adhesive.
This article is a segment of 2017’s Best of What’s New list. For the complete tabulation of the year’s most transformative products and discoveries, head right this way.
Craftsman’s Sidewinder Tape Measure
Tape measure, teeter no more: Craftsman’s Sidewinder lies flat. While the spool sits at the same orientation as it does in traditional versions, the ruler twists 90 degrees before exiting the plastic casing. This allows the body of the gadget to remain parallel to the floor as the tape, available in 16- and 25-foot lengths, unrolls. $20.
DynaGrip’s speed-drying adhesive
Moldings, drywall, flooring, and other home improvements rely on quick-setting glue to fix objects in place while you get ready to fasten them. And DAP’s DynaGrip Heavy Duty Max sets up to five times quicker than other sticky stuff. Within one hour of application, the glue can support nearly 60 pounds per square inch, 13 times more than the typical construction adhesive. And it also holds in colder, wetter weather conditions. $11.
There are few meals as dependent on consistency as smoked meat, cooked for hours at a steady, low heat. The Smoker Cabinet (which costs a searing $13,495) has a multi-pronged attack to hold temps. A computer-regulated fan stokes the fire as needed, and a 7-pound column of charcoal burns from the bottom up, so it can smolder for 16 hours without a reload; all the while, a chunk of wood in a basin burns, adding smoky flavor.
Power up your water supply
A garden hose can’t handle higher-pressure cleaning tasks like blasting mold off window sills. Drawing from a hose, bottle, or bucket, the motorized pump in WORX’s battery-powered 3.7-pound cleaner pressurizes liquid to a grime-bombing 320psi —five times the strength of a hose—without a power washer’s bulky base. The Hydroshot needs only half a gallon per minute, as opposed to a hose’s 4 to 6 gallons. $112.
Brita’s Stream Pitcher
Stop waiting for water to slowly drip into your Brita’s reservoir. Instead of trickling liquid through two tanks, the Stream Pitcher’s filter sits directly in front of its spout so the H2O can purify as you pour. $30.
No matter their myriad appendages, most multitools share one chafing similarity: an awkward grip that makes twisting a pain. To deliver maximum torque, Gerber gave the Center-Drive’s bit driver a slightly curved stem so, when open, it aligns with the center axis of the gadget like a single-purpose tool does.
The multi also includes 15 stalwart attachments, including pliers, blades, and a bottle opener. $89.
Logitech’s Pop Smart button
Don’t bother adjusting your smart home’s lights and speakers individually: Stick a 2.4-inch Pop Smart Button on the wall to do that for you. During setup, the app detects smart devices on your Wi-Fi network, then programs them to respond to button presses. Add a special remote, and you can create coordinated programs like a “movie night” mode that turns on the TV, dims lights, and sets temps to the ideal snuggling degree. $40.
A mask that lets you breathe better
Most safety masks have a big flaw: gaps at the edges, which allow dust and debris easy passage into your lungs. A silicone seal around the perimeter of DDME’s SoftSeal mask molds the barrier comfortably to your face so its four layers of filters—which block smoke, ash, fine air-pollution particles, and larger allergens, along with living pests such as bacteria, mold, and viruses—can protect you properly. $28 for 10.
Grand Award Winner: June Intelligent Oven
Web videos, meal-delivery services, and smart appliances are trying to lure reluctant cooks (ahem, millennials) back into the kitchen with promises of quick, easy meals. Among the latter is the $1,495 June, an intelligent convection cooker that makes crucial decisions for you. Pop in a tray of food, and a camera built into its ceiling recognizes the grub. Based on what it sees, the oven heats to a preset temperature and sets an automatic timer; for tricky proteins like chicken breast and salmon, a digital thermometer double-checks doneness. Six carbon-fiber elements maintain a uniform temperature within the oven to avoid hot-spot surprises or soggy bottoms. When it launched this past December, June had 50 different foods in its recipe bank, including vegetables like broccoli and frozen faves like french fries, but it’s learning new skills all the time. It’s already added 15 new foodstuffs, including bacon and burgers. $2,000.
Best of What’s New was originally published in the November/December 2017 issue of Popular Science.