DIY Tech Upgrades

shower-radio

Shower Out Loud
Beyoncé before breakfast? Yes, indeed. The Moxie Showerhead + Wireless Speaker by Kohler pops into a magnetic showerhead, syncs with any Bluetooth-enabled device, and lets you jam while you shampoo. Also use the speaker in the kitchen, the car—wherever you need great tunes. The Moxie comes in five fun colors and several finishes, $129 for speaker; $199 for speaker and showerhead; $299 for speaker and new rainfall showerhead. Available at Kohler Signature Store, 7101 France Ave. S., Ste.109, Edina, 952-314-9032, kohler.com

iphone-meat-thermometer

Burn-free Bluetooth
The iDevices Kitchen Thermometer allows you to multitask and still monitor dishes from up to 150 feet away with the free iDevices Connected app for Apple products (also compatible with many Android phones). Just let the app know what’s on the menu, and it will track the temperature, signaling when the food is ready. The thermometer includes two probes ($79.99). Also available: the mini, with one probe ($39.99). To save your outdoor bacon, there’s the iGrill ($99.99) and the iGrill mini ($39.99). idevicesinc.com

iphone-bestnest-app

Household Helper
BrightNest is a free, amazingly easy-to-use, custom-tailored home-maintenance app. It provides savvy tips and hard-working articles and allows you to schedule reminders for tasks, depending on your home’s finishes and traits. Soapstone countertops? Ceiling fans? Weed-filled yard? BrightNest has your home covered, from basement to attic—and outdoors, too. brightnest.com
wired-chair

Tech Lounger
Whether you’re in an office with Silicon Valley start-up style or working from home, having a comfortable chair with tech perks is a no-brainer. The Hosu Convertible Lounge, designed by Patricia Urquiola, can be used in an upright position or converted to a chaise lounge, inviting you to put your feet up to work, read, or just think brilliant thoughts. Features rear and side storage pockets as well as pass-through areas for power cords. $2,489, available in six playful colors at coalesse.com

honeywell-smart-thermostat

Smart Thermostats
DIY-connected smart thermostats are a favorite upgrade to HVAC systems for energy-conscious consumers. The new Honeywell Lyric uses the location of your smartphone—a geo-fencing feature tells it when you’ve moved out of a preset zone—to determine when to kick into energy-saving mode. The Nest Thermostat learns your patterns over time, while the Lyric works on your real-time schedule. Both can be adjusted manually and via a smartphone app. The Lyric factors in humidity, weather, and indoor and outdoor temperatures, while the Nest Airwave system takes into account outdoor humidity. Both send a monthly report showing how much you’ve saved or spent since installing the system, plus maintenance alerts. While the $279 Lyric is pricier than the $250 Nest, online reviewers recommend it for households with less predictable schedules. Nest users report saving from $5 to hundreds per month; the Lyric is too new to predict accurate savings, but both units promise significant cuts in HVAC use compared with traditional thermostats. The Lyric is available at Lowe’s, lyric.honeywell.com, the Nest at Best Buy, Home Depot, and the Apple Store, nest.com.

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