Smart cities around the world will combine urbanism trends with the latest digital technology and eco-friendly practices. Picture: Supplied
Smart cities around the world will combine urbanism trends with the latest digital technology and eco-friendly practices. Picture: Supplied

WATCH: See how these simple household items turned "smart"

By Gabriella Steyn Time of article published May 24, 2018

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CAPE TOWN - Creating a "smart home" or getting one is no longer science fiction as regular household items are now given the ability to speak to us, order our groceries or even help our kids with their homework. 

Besides the bigger picture of smart Tv's and toys, we take a look at simple items you never thought would go smart.

Here is a list of 5 items you never thought would go smart: 

1. Smart Tupperware

The Ovie Smarterware food storage system is designed to help you keep track of the food in your fridge so it doesn’t go to waste. This ultimately means that it can turn your normal tupperware, "smart". 

The system contains several parts: a SmartTag that goes into an Ovie container, a clip for bags of food, or a universal connector for other forms of storage (like takeout boxes). 

How it works: 

You push the button to turn the tag on and tell the app what food it’s tracking by entering it manually or telling Alexa what you’re storing.

 You also need a separate hub that needs to be plugged into a wall and connected to the internet so they can all talk to each other.

Ovie says it plans to launch the system with Google Home compatibility as well and notes that the batteries in the SmartTag last for 12 to 18 months. 

Using a database of food spoilage times, the company says it can alert you when your produce or meal is about to go bad. 

The SmartTag assigned to each food item starts its own countdown once you begin tagging.

2. A smart "sous" chef

If you need help in the kitchen and your spouse isn't always available, this device called Mellow can be your "smart sous chef". 

How it works:

1. Place your food in a vacuum-sealed bag and cooked slowly in a water bath or steam, on lower temperatures. 

2.  Mellow can store food at refrigerator temperature until you are ready to start cooking. 

The device is operated remotely, via a smartphone app.

3. Smart coffee machine 

Imagine being able to schedule brewing times and make cups of coffee whenever you want to with a smart coffee machine. 

Luckily, you can with devices such as the Nespresso Prodigio or the Smarter Coffee Machine. 

It also has an integrated app, that allows users to reorder capsules for the machine. 

4. Smart Fridge 

Expensive smart fridges from manufacturers such as LG and Samsung have cameras so you can see what you have in it while at the grocery store.

They also allow you schedule when your fridge should start making ice or let you know when items will expire.

When integrated with assistants such as Alexa or Google Home they can even order items online for you in advance if you need it. 

5. Smart Salt dispensor 

 The Smalt is smart salt dispenser and dubbed as "the world's first interactive centerpiece" by its creators.

The device features a bluetooth speaker for music and a companion smartphone app for dispensing salt and tracking your sodium intake.

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