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We're not usually the type of people to get excited by a kettle - unless it's a smart kettle that can do a bunch of other cool things, of course - but Swan's latest range of kitchen appliances looks great. Designed to have a much more retro-like feel than any of its previous products, the range consists of a toaster, kettle and cute little red dishwasher amongst lots of other essentials.

Here are some of our top picks from the range, which will be available from Littlewoods and Very from May.

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Swan Vintage SM22030 800W Digital Microwave, £139.99

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Swan Vintage SK261020 Dome Kettle, £59.99

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Swan Vintage SP21010 Stand Mixer, £199.99

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Swan Vintage SK261030 Pyramid Kettle, £69.99

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Swan Vintage ST17020 Two Slice Toaster, £49.99

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Swan Vintage SDW7040 Dishwasher, £799.99

sammy-screamer-pink.jpgAs a kid I threw my mum's engagement ring between the cracks in some floorboards and it was never seen again. You could say I was an awful kid, or that I was just curious and wanted to get my hands on special things. Either way, a Sammy Screamer attached to my mum's jewellery box would have averted all kinds of expensive mishaps.

Created by a company called BleepBleeps, the Sammy Screamer is a kinda scary looking device that parents can attach to things in order to keep track of items within their homes.

So attach Sammy to a jewellery box, biscuit tin or cleaning products cupboard and if it's moved he screams and a push notification is sent through to your phone. When you buy Sammy he comes with the company's smartphone app - so you have complete control over volume, sensitivity and when he can start tracking.

BleepBleeps are currently seeking funding on Kickstarter for Sammy and he's already exceeded his goal by nearly four times - despite the fact he looks (and sounds) pretty terrifying, but we guess that's kinda the whole point.

Check out the BleepBleeps website for more useful colourful devices with faces - we like Tony Tempa, a temperature tracking gadget.

Belkin announce WeMo LED Light Bulbs

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So, we now live in a world where not even our lightbulbs can go without being connected to the internet. Following the lead of the Phillips Hue and the "LIFX" bulb, Belkin have announced a new wifi lightbulb - and have today illuminated us with the details.

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Belkin's WeMo range has been around for a while now - and has previously connected up plug sockets to internet and motion sensing control (check out our review here). What's cool is that in doing this, they've founded something of a motion-control protocol - and are slowly adding further devices that can be automated.

This latest addition, the WeMo LED Light Bulb, connects to the internet via a "WeMo Link" device that plugs into your router, which can talk to multiple bulbs simultaneously. Once you've established the link, you're then able to do control the lights using the WeMo app on your phone - and also setup cleverer functionality, such as automating the time at which the lights switch on. As I mentioned in the review - one of the most exciting aspects of the WeMo system is that it integrates with Ifttt, which can set different web services to trigger other things - so you could set the lights to come on when your phone's GPS tells Ifttt that you're getting close to home. You could even toggle the lights with a tweet.

The lights will apparently retail in the United States for around $129 (or £80) for the starter kick containing two 60-watt equivalent bulbs (that will apparently last up to 23 years and the WeMo Link for your router - with additional bulbs costing $39 (£25ish) - which is hugely cheaper than competing wifi lighting.

Another Belkin announcement that is just as exciting is that Belkin have announced plans for the WeMo Maker Kit, which will make it easy for techie-types to hack WeMo functionality into their own devices using a DC switch - so don't be surprised if we eventually see everything from WeMo curtains to WeMo microwaves.

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It seems shows like The Great British Bake Off, featuring Paul Hollywood (right), are leading us to splash out more on kitchen gadgets investing nearly £700 every month turning our kitchens from drab cooking spaces into high tech showrooms.

More than 82% of those surveyed by Currys and PC World admitted to forking out on their kitchen every month with 15% spending between £300-£650 a month on kitchen gadgets, including top-end mixers, such as Kenwood's Patissier Food Mixer, and colourful Dualit toasters.

60% of shoppers revealed they shelled out on premium-branded kitchen products, such as those by KitchenAid, Bodum and Nespresso, over basic kitchen tech. 

Around 1 in 3 of Brits owns a coffee machine, with 65% now making home-made smoothies using their own blender, or a juicer.

Currys & PC World's latest study shows that technology in the kitchen is rising most quickly among the younger generation with 18-24 year olds updating their kitchen tech more regularly than any other generation. When asked what type of gifts shoppers were purchasing this year for Christmas, it was revealed that 8 in 10 Brits are now buying practical gifts for their loved ones over more traditional toys and games.

Says Currys & PC World spokesperson Ben Lovett:
"It's no real surprise that people are investing more in their kitchens with the surge in popular cooking shows such as The Great British Bake Off, Rick Stein's India and Nigel and Adam's Farm Kitchen. We've seen a greater demand for quality kitchen gadgets and a rise in sales. We are expecting to see a lot of consumers stocking up on kitchen gifts this Christmas especially seeing as practical gifts seem to be the most popular."

Interestingly people in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Yorkshire are more likely to see their kitchen as a showroom than any other region, with over 50% of residents there having a TV in the kitchen.

Top 10 Kitchen gadgets

1. Kettle

2. Microwave

3. Fridge/Fridge Freezer

4. Toaster

5. Blender

6. Radio

7. Toastie maker

8. Phone

9. Coffee Machine

10. Juicer

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5 wifi gadgets to make your home smarter

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We're used to living in a world where we upgrade our phones, computers and TVs... but what about some of the more boring technologies around the house, that have been the same for years? Would you ever think to buy a new thermostat? Probably not - but maybe you should. Here's five top wifi gadgets to make your home more exciting.

marshall-fridge.jpgHere is possibly the most bonkers brand extension ever, Marshall, which as any proper rock star will tell you is the last name in go to 11 amps, has unveiled the Marshall Fridge.

Yep you did read that right. It is a fully functioning fridge decked out to resemble a good old Marshall stack.

And it does all the basics, like keep things cool in the fridge bit and frozen in the freezer. but the cool bit is that each time you open the fridge door a deafening celestial power-chord rings out.

Yours from Firebox for a penny shy of £400.

No, we don't mean picnics or a sunday barbeque - this is distinctly more grown-up, dinner party-esque and posher than that. We're not quite in the Aussie's league yet, but we have come along way just in the last decade (- despite the weather playing against us).

We've pretty much extended our homes and furnished it's 'outdoor rooms' with all kinds of superfluous dining equipment, outdoor structures and feasts inspired by Sunday Supplement recipes.

As the British do so well, we've adopted the best bits from other nations (of warmer climes) and are Al Fresco Dining as soon as there's enough blue in the sky to make a pair of sailors trousers.

Here's our top ten al fresco ideas we'd love to have in our back yards for the best outdoor dining experiences.

Even when times are hard, our commitment to 'proper coffee' is looking like it's here to stay, with many of us still willing to fork out the equivalent of your lunch budget for a cup of the ol' Joe each morning. However, as our addiction has set in, so has our increasing demand to reproduce coffee shop results at home. Any barista worth their salt will tell you making good coffee is an art, but results will only ever be as good as the technology you're using, so this means investing in a coffee machine to do the job.

There's a multitude of coffee machines on offer now: From retro stove tops to one-touch bean to cup do-it-all machines, with mind boggling features and budgets to match. Here's our top 10 machines for you discerning coffee snobs out there...

There are lots of coffee machines on the market today and we've collected together some of our favourites, whether it's because they're all singing, all dancing and can do pretty much anything with a coffee bean, cheap and cheerful or bright and good-looking for your kitchen. We've also added in a couple of milk frothers too, for those who are fans of cappuccinos and forthy brews.

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Gone are the days of the engineers at Dyson HQ only making colourful vacuum cleaners, as the brand today revealed it's reinvented the way the humble tap works by adding in new technology to allow you to dry your hands from the same spot.

The new Airblade Tap system follows in the footsteps of Dyson's revolutionary (can we call a hand dryer revolutionary?) Airblade hand dryers. But now the brand has solved the problem of having to walk all the way from the sink to the dryer to sort your hands out and now will clean, rinse and dry them all from the sink. GENIUS. Just think about the time we'll save?!

The new technology has cost an estimated £26.9 million to develop and works using an infrared system, which is able to track the position of your hands, rinse them with water and then dry them automatically using "high-velocity sheets of air".

However, at £1000 a pop the new system is likely aimed at swanky restaurants and bars rather than your house, because we're pretty sure you could get a new budget kitchen fitted for that price.

Related: Dyson's Top 10 Best Inventions: Bagless, 'Ballbarrow', boats and more!

[Via Like Cool]

Christmas gifts don't always have to be silly (although they're often our favourites), with a little bit of forward planning you can buy a home appliance which is very practical, looks good and doesn't break the bank.

Here's our pick of ten quirky, sparkly and colourful lights that are exciting enough to be wrapped up under the tree, but are a little more grown up than singing, dancing speakers.

One of the main reasons an iPad is so appealing is because it's slim, compact and easy to hold.

But sometimes you just don't have enough limbs to hold it still, like when you're following a recipe or driving and other times you just don't want to because you're trying to relax.

Sure there are thousands of special stands on the market, but it might look better, prove to be more secure AND less annoying in the long run to mount the iPad to something, whether that be a wall, a fridge or even your own body.

Ahh coffee, one minute it's bad for us and making us hallucinate, the next it's a miracle cure for everything from Alzheimer's to baldness. But whether you're a self confessed Starbucks addict or an "only the finest" coffee connoisseur, there's no denying how amazing the stuff is. Watch this lovely piece of coffee propaganda if you don't believe me.

However, arguably the best things about coffee aren't always the way it smells and tastes. We love the act of drinking, discussing and most importantly making the stuff. Therefore it's no surprise there are all kinds of gadgets and appliances that have been specially designed to enhance that experience.

So here's a list of our top ten coffee-making contraptions, some are sadly just prototypes at the moment, others are firm favourites and we admit a few just look good.

Navibot S

Wow. Samsung really has been busy.

Today at IFA, the tech giant has launched its new robotic cleaning device, the Navibot S. The smart little robot promises to give you hands-free, automated cleaning just like the older model, the Navibot, but with more advanced technology and all kinds of new functionality.

When Anna reviewed the original Samsung Navibot in February last year, her main concerns were that it bumped into things a little too much, it was slow and it wasn't good at picking up bits and pieces near to bigger objects.

Samsung seemed to have directly responded to Anna's issues with the improvements to the latest model, which is meant to be much faster with upgraded sensors to stop it bumping into things AND improve its general performance when it comes to cleaning around the edges of rooms.

I'm still not convinced everyone would be happy with the results, but its certainly a big step forward in automated household appliances.

There's no official word about when the Navibot S is going to be available, but we'll update you when we know.


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Fed up with your dishwasher and your kitchen light being in different places? Some genius has combined the two to make.. err... a kitchen light that is also a really small dishwasher.

Don't ask us what the thought process was, we don't know.

Kim Joonmin made it as a "concept".

Design blog Yanko highlight some of the advantages of the ground-breaking device:

"The idea is to have a functional light stationed right above the dining table, so that you have easy access to routine dishes like plates and spoons. It conserves space and apparently integrates technologies that recycles & purifies used water for the next cycle."

Oh right then.

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[via Popgadget]


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It doesn't matter whether you consider yourself to be a dog person or a cat fanatic. We can all agree that coming home from work to be greeted by the family pet is a lovely feeling.

But if the hairs from your cat or dog send you into a spate of sneezing because of your allergies, then your love can be severely tested.

Thankfully, the Dyson DC25 Animal Bagless Vacuum Cleaner helps man and his favourite pet co-exist by reducing the problem of irritating allergies.

This Dyson vacuum cleaner has a Mini Turbine Head to make short work of hair from cats and dogs, as well as other animal related dirt. It can get into tight places on stairs, upholstery and even in cars.

dyson logo.png Using Dyson's Root Cyclone Technology, this upright vacuum cleaner will never suffer from a loss of suction. It is also as gentle as it is durable, with its motorised brush bars providing a soft touch on hard floors and delicate carpets.

The Dyson DC25 Animal Bagless Vacuum Cleaner has a HEPA filter with a Bactisafe screen to clean and expel air, making life easier for allergy sufferers.

You might think all these features would make the Dyson difficult to move around, but it weighs just 7.5kg and has the patented 'Ball' technology, so you can manoeuvre it with a flick of your wrist.

This Dyson vacuum cleaner is perfect for anyone who wants to live in a happy and clean home with their pets.

Waiting for Wimbledon: 8 fun tennis gadgets

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Wimbledon is only five days away and we're hoping Murray might make it all the way to the top this year.

To keep us entertained until we can don our 3D glasses to see all the action on centre court, we thought it would be interesting to see what tennis related gadgets are out there.

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A toothbrush sanitiser that looks like a ninja? Yes, we're on our knees begging for more.

Okay, after the initial rush of pleasure at something that combines two of our favourite things (er, actually make that one of our favourite things, we're still not totally convinced by toothbrush santisation) we thought we should drill down into the facts a bit harder. The idea behind toothbrush sanitisation is that the fewer germs on your toothbrush the better. To that end this ninja uses a technique they use in hospitals: radiating UV light to kill germs.

It's not an instant thing, your brush has to sit in the Ninja for 6-7 minutes until it has reached the required level of cleanliness. Then after it has been bathed in germicidal UV light, it's ready and should have 99.7% of its germs removed.

It's pretty fun and we are a fan of the karate chop insert toothbrush action, but as you might have realised if you use a toothbrush regularly, unsanitised toothbrushes aren't life-threatening. Change your toothbrush every so often and you should be fine.

One for the real gadget fans, cleanliness freaks, or people who live with housemates who borrow their toothbrush. Could also be good for travellers.

£24.95 from CuteBitz

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If it takes more than wailing sirens to get you out of bed, maybe you should investigate the Doro HearPlus 333cl + Pillow Shaker.

Pop the sturdy cuboid clock under your pillow, set its vibrate mode on, and as well as pumping out decibels and flashing a light it will start buzzing and sending vibrations out through the pillow that you are mistakenly clutching in an attempt to shut out the real world.

No escaping that alarm clock. Initially designed for those with hearing impairments, it functions as well for the slug-a-beds, heavy sleepers and those with a habit of ignoring the weaker alarms on smaller clocks.

I guess you'll jump out of bed in a state of terror and adrenalin, but hey, at least you'll be awake...

The Doro HearPlus 333cl, £49.99 on bigeasyphone.com here

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Baskets woven out of telephone wire may not sound like must-have it-items for the average house. I mean you'd just get a standard basket if you wanted a basket wouldn't you?

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But despite being sceptical about the whole concept, I was won over by these Zenzulu baskets from Aram. Fair-trade, eco-friendly and winning awards for their design, these are some pretty nice baskets that look good in strong black and red patterns. Local village women weave the discarded wires together to create the baskets as designed by a S African designer Marisa Fick-Jordaan.

A twist on the traditional Easter baskets perhaps?

Zenzulu woven baskets, £85 from Aram.co.uk
nb: these claim to be new in store, though at time of writing, I couldn't find them on the website.

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