Welcome to Reviews OnLine: International Housewares Show: Millennium Edition
International Housewares Show
Millennium Edition
by Rick Smith and Bill Smith (January 17, 2000)

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Technology Showcase

Omron HEM630
This is one of the smallest and compact blood pressure cuffs made and will be available in the summer of 2000. It features a memory system that records your last 21 blood pressure readings. It also features a five year warranty.

Omron line of digital blood pressure cuffs
These three cuffs shows the trend of miniaturization in compact blood pressure cuffs. The Omron HEM630 is on the right.

Kooltron chilled water dispenser
Using the same "cool chip" technology that they use for their portable refrigerators (we used one on our Comdex road trip), Kooltron created the Filter-Cool, a small "desktop" two gallon water cooler. It weighs 15 pounds and holds 2 gallons of water.

Otres Sponge Sanitizer
Consumers in the 21st century now have a way to remove 99.9% of the germs from their dish sponge. This unique devices from Otres, removes virtually all of those nasty "germs" even e. Coli, Salmonella and Polio! The process, which uses activated oxygen, takes about 4 hours and even eliminates the germs in the MIDDLE of the sponge. They also make a Toothbrush sanitizer to remove the germs from your toothbrushes as well.

Tanita's UltimateScale
These cool high-tech, portable, digital scales and body fat monitors are part of the increasing trend to have translucent appliances, much like the iMac. Since Rowenta (see IHS `99 article) started the trend almost eight years ago, it has now come full circle. These models will be available in April 2000 in 3 colors: Translucent Blue, Frosty White, and Translucent Green. They feature both adult and child modes.

Tanita Fitscan
This miniature body fat checker can compute your body fat percentage without getting wet! All you have to provide is your height, body type and weight, then grasp the FitScan with both hands and your body fat is accurately calculated. (In the past, you had to get into a water tank in order to compute your fat percentage.) Tanita is an Arlington Heights company - the home town of Reviews OnLine!

Tanita Breath Alert
For those of you who want to make sure that they don't have bad breath, this digital device can help you make sure. Since behavioral research states that bad breath sufferers are unlikely to be told about their problem, this is a great tool to check quickly and discreetly.

Sharp LC-10A2UC television
This flat panel television fits under your kitchen cabinets, above the counter, which frees your countertop space for food preparation. It can also flip up and flatten, completely out of the way. It features a 10.4" high brightness LCD and has 180 channel capability. Great usage of flat screen display technology where a conventional CRT can't be used.

Oregon Scientific Home Weather Station
One of the difficulties with setting up a home weather station is running signal and power cables in the house from the display panel to the rain gauge, barometer, thermometer, humidity sensor, anemometer and weather vane. Each sensor on the Oregon weather station (model WMR-918, $549.95) transmits data via a 433 MHz miniature transmitter / receiver and uses a solar cell for power.

This weather station requires no external power for each sensor, since they each obtain power from small, independent solar panels.

Oregon Scientific BAR338P prototype
This high tech alarm clock can project the time on the ceiling of a darkened room. It keeps itself accurately set by automatically synchronizing itself, 6 times a day, to the US atomic clock, using its built-in radio receiver, that doesn't require an external antenna.

Verilux Rise & Shine alarm clock
Imagine having the sun wake you up, with the chirping of morning birds. This alarm clock from Verilux turns on a Natural Spectrum lamp, when the alarm goes off. The lamp slowly fades to simulate the setting sun, along with one of four different sounds. Great idea. Now, if Verilux can integrate this technology with the Thalia system, we will be able to wake up to a naturally lit room and with Thalia, the coffee will be also ready!

Detail of Verilux Rise & Shine lamp base (alarm clock)
Here is the alarm clock controls at the base of the lamp.

Fantom Calypso
This water purification system uses ozone and activated carbon filter to clean out water contaminants and remove microorganisms. The entire process is monitored by the internal microprocessor system to assure quality water. It's like having your own water treatment plant - on your desktop! It will be shipping later this year (2000). See movie of this water purification system in action (400K AVI file).

West Bend Slide Thru toaster
While we didn't see any "Internet toasters" at the show, this unique toaster from West Bend uses a microprocessor for heating control and allows the bread to slide out, ready for topping! It also features an extra wide slot for bagels and Texas toast. This toaster also has a "Cancel" button, like a PC, to stop the toasting cycle.

Hamilton Beach IntelliToast
This two slice toaster (model 22495) uses microchip technology to give more consistent results. It features a wide slot design, automatic safety shutoff, slide out crumb tray and "cool touch" exterior. For me, the best feature is "Toast Boost", which raises hard to reach slices higher.

Proctor-Silex SmartToast toaster oven
This toaster oven/broiler (model 30015) uses microchip technology for more consistent toasting and baking performance. It features a four slice, non-stick interior and can toast, bake, broil and top brown. It also uses a "tone" to signal the end of a toast cycle.

Proctor-Silex ClearSteam irons
These iMac colored irons (model 14425) feature automatic shutoff, extra long cords (finally) and adjustable steam, in addition to the cool "see-through" packaging.

Brother PE-150
This high tech embroiderer is capable of being a great "cloth printer". It can "print" in a 4" x 4" area and with the optional PE-SCAN 2, new designs can be drawn, scanned, edited and saved to a reusable memory card which can be read by the PE-150. With PE-DESIGN 2.0, designs can be created, edited and digitized on a PC or downloaded from the Internet. It retails for under $1,000. Last year, the professional model was shown at the Housewares show for $4,000.

Brother PTouch 1100
This is latest labeler from Brother can print laminated, adhesive-backed, professional-quality labels for home, hobby or kitchen applications. It also has an iron-on label capability for labeling clothes. It retails for $69.95.

Samsonite Luggage Finder
This novel device can help you find your luggage. It consists of a small transmitter, the size of a keychain fob, and a lightweight receiver that attaches to your luggage handle. With the push of a button on the transmitter, the receiver is activated causing a flashing light and a loud chirping sound. Now it should be quite simple to find your bags at a busy airport (like O'Hare).

Salter Housewares electronic scale
This scale is capable of calculating your weight and BMI (Body Mass Index) and uses a high precision strain-gauge sensing system.

Aero-Tech LED Lamp
This screw-in lamp has a 10 year life and is composed of many red LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). It is intended for use in exit signs and saves energy when compared to conventional incandescent bulbs.


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Copyright 2000 Rick Smith and Bill Smith All rights reserved.

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