Biolite BaseLantern illuminates your lamp

Biolite BaseLatern, this smart lamp by Bluetooth not only illuminates you, it is also able to share its energy.

Biolite Baselantern a flattened smart lamp

This lamp does not take up more space than a sandwich in your bag, it will, however, bring you a lot. First of all, like a real lamp, it illuminates large areas, and it is also possible to extend the lighting perimeter thanks to a chain lighting principle.

Biolite BaseLantern

This smart lamp can also be used as a backup battery to recharge your phone, mp3 or camera.

In addition, Biolite offers the possibility, via its Bluetooth connection, to know in real time the energy available to you. Connectivity will also allow you to control the color and activate the lamp only when you are nearby.

The Biolite BaseLantern principle

This lamp owes its finesse to its particular system which uses the same principle as that of optical fibre. A LED at the bottom of the device illuminates the multiple reflectors on the wall of the lamp. The result is that this lamp can project up to 500 lumens for a 7800 mAh rechargeable battery and has a Bluetooth connection while remaining the size of any sandwich.

The lamp alone can illuminate for 54 hours if it has been fully charged beforehand. It is also possible to reduce the lighting time to use it as a backup battery thanks to its two USB ports. For example, with the classic BaseLantern, you can charge an iPhone 6 four times, an iPad Mini 4 1.25 times, a GoPro Hero 4 six times, a Pebble Time 47 times, etc. With the BaseLantern XL, this data increases significantly.

The Biolite BaseLantern application

Thanks to the low-power Bluetooth system, you can interact with the lamp. The application will allow you to analyze in real time the remaining energy. It will also provide you with a control of this smart object. You can manage the color, the heat, the different smart lamps, and lower the brightness.

Finally, the application allows you to create lighting effects, program an alarm and a timer, activate the light only when you get close to it and know the size of the remaining charge so you can adjust the intensity of the light accordingly. The application is very intuitive and is available on the App Store and Google Play.

A smart lamp that has the merit of being transportable at will and that illuminates much more than the smart carpet… this is certainly the reason for the public’s enthusiasm.

Three smart stoves that will change the way you cook

Our kitchen is full of connected objects. Ovens, fridges, cutlery… Everything goes through it. However, if there is an accessory or choice is limited, it is the smart stove. Essential for cooking a multitude of foods, a little help would not be a refusal. A brief overview of the existing models, their advantages and disadvantages.

SmartyPans

Is a smart stove really necessary?

Why choose a smart stove? Your grandmothers and kitchen specialists will tell you that there is no need for help to cook something in a frying pan. The smell, the heat that is released, the reaction to the first drops of oil are all clues for those who know how to read them.

But when you’re not used to cooking, things get complicated. Especially when the time spent in the kitchen decreases more and more. A 2016 OpinionWay study revealed that the French spend more time shopping online than cooking. Or when the smartphone overrides the appeal of good food. Making a quality dish requires time, knowledge and above all important attention.

This is where the smart frying pan comes in. It can help to monitor the temperature, manage the progress of cooking, track the calories in your dishes or even offer you recipes. The three models we have chosen share common points but also specific assets that may be of interest to you. Discover them to find out which smart stove you need!

Assisteo Connect from Tefal, to achieve perfect cooking

Tefal, the SEB Group brand is undoubtedly the leading brand in the frying pan. Since the creation of the first model combining Teflon and aluminium in 1954, it has regularly offered innovations to make life in the kitchen easier. First of all, there was Thermopost, the red circle that indicates the heat level of your stove. Then, Ingenio, which allows you to unhook the stick. At the beginning of the year, Tefal took the next step with Assisteo. Equipped with a probe and a dial, it indicates from a color system, if your smart stove is at the right temperature. You can adjust it in three different modes: simmer, core and stir-fry. An alarm warns you if there is a problem.

“This innovation is aimed at dutyfull, the people who have to manage the 7pm shooting,” explains Christophe Leblan, the brand’s marketing director. With this frying pan, you no longer have to be constantly in front of it. We offer the possibility of managing something else at the same time: children, homework… A beep brings you back in front of the utensil when you need it.”

The Assisteo smart stove will be launched on the market in the second half of the year. Its selling price, in its size of 24 centimeters will be sold at 39 €. Starting next year, the company will launch Assisteo Connect. A function that will allow the stove to be connected to a tablet. This will give you access to more than 200 recipes but will also tell you when to indicate the different ingredients. It should be noted that the SEB group strongly believes in connected objects. The company has already launched its Cookeo Connect cooker in 2016. The Moulinex brand, which belonged to it, was very successful with the I-Companion.

Smart pante, so you never miss a dish again

Pantelligent is one of the first smart smart stoves to have come on the market. Launched in 2015 on the Kickstarter participatory financing platform, it has a diameter of 30 centimetres. To use your options, it’s simple. Connect your phone to the pan using Bluetooth and then select the recipe you are going to make, and the level of cooking you want: rare, medium… The application will then guide you step by step, taking into account the temperature of the plate and your habits.

To purchase the Pantelligent smart stove, you still need $129. It should also be noted that it is not compatible with induction hobs. It requires two AAA batteries to operate and its internal battery is for one year. You will then have to change it.

SmartyPans to keep an eye on calories

Help you eat healthier. This is the purpose of the SmartyPans smart stove. Designed by a Californian engineering student, it is capable of weighing ingredients, controlling temperature and humidity. Thanks to its three sensors, it accumulates this information but also the amount of calories present in your dish. The application gives you access to recipes and allows you to exchange with other users.

It should be noted that the SmartyPans was initially to be delivered to those who had financed it on Indiegogo in April 2016. For the time being, this is still not the case, as the company continues to have some difficulties in terms of certifications. However, she ensures that everything will be ready very quickly. If you wish to pre-order it, you will have to pay $229 on the company’s website.

Google Home Test

Google Home was announced at the American giant’s October conference. It is a voice-activated assistant with speakers connected to a WiFi network. Available since August 3, 2017, this device is a real personal assistant. Once connected to your home, Google Home is there to answer all our questions and assist us like a real virtual secretary. By a simple “Ok Google”, followed by any order, you can ask him anything, or almost anything.

Google has announced that new features will soon arrive. It will be possible to couple several actions with the same voice request. For example, by saying “Hey Google, I’ll be home in 10 minutes”, the voice assistant will turn on the lights when you arrive and launch your favorite playlist. The Californian giant also added more than 30 new languages compatible with the voice assistant, as well as implementing geolocated alerts (in the event of an earthquake or attacks, for example).

test google home

Google wants you to invite him to your home. To do this, the group created Google Home, a cylindrical smart speaker with two microphones and four LEDs. This connected object, launched in the United States in November 2016 and in France on August 3, 2017, is linked to a virtual assistant called Google Assistant, an artificial intelligence capable of answering both voice and written questions from its owners. The communicating speaker is then able to help its users in multiple tasks of their daily life, as shown in the video below: automatically switch on the light, put a playlist on Spotify, listen to the news,…

Google Home is finally available in France. For 149 euros, we can now afford the services of an assistant/secretary who can answer all our questions, from the most intelligent to the most stupid, as well as prepare our agenda. The American company is in the process of revolutionizing French homes with this small device to connect to your home. Simple Gadget or future indispensable assistant of your home. Answer in this test.

  • Brand: Google
  • Category: Connected assistant
  • Connection: WiFi
  • Compatibility: iOS and Android
  • Price: 149 euros
  • Availability: Available in France since August 3, 2017
  • Tested with: iPhone 5s/Samsung Galaxy S6

Google Home Unboxing

First of all, Google Home is delivered in a square cardboard box about 40 centimeters high. Mainly dominated by white, its front face bears an illustration of the product with Google’s famous multicolored “G”. The slices display the characteristics of the Home as well as some examples of questions it can answer. The back panel has features with an image of the Google assistant.

The cardboard stand lifts up from the top to reveal a box entirely covered in white and decorated with the Google symbol on top. It is equipped with a small grey tongue, which, when pulled, pivots upwards with a diagonal opening. We find the Google Home, standing, comfortably installed in white plastic stands.

Just below the assistant is a plastic holder with a small cone that enters the Google Home even to keep it upright. Underneath, there are small boxes with some usage information. Of course, everything is in English. Finally, the charger and its cable are placed at the very bottom of the box.

In terms of ergonomics, the packaging is quite successful. The space is very well optimized and the box has a certain class. The packaging seems to promise a luxurious product.

Design and ergonomics of Google Home

Google Home is 14 centimeters high and has a cylindrical design. With its 96 mm diameter, it can be placed anywhere, on a coffee table or on furniture. Its weight of 480 grams allows even small hands to lift it without any problem.

The assistant is completely white and smooth except for its base. All grey, this one is made of a material reminiscent of carpet. To ensure that the product can be integrated in every home, Google offers 7 different color databases on the Google Store for $20. Made of metal or fabric, they are very easy to remove and hide black speakers and a micro USB port.

On its sides, the white part of Google Home houses a mute button, a light and the famous “G”. The upper surface, as if cut diagonally, is equipped with two microphones and 4 LEDs, in green, blue, red and yellow, which will light up when used.

Overall, the design of Google is quite attractive. Its dimensions will allow it to interfere in the different rooms of the house. The visual is good, but now let’s move on to the use.

Using Google Home

To start, one of the cardboard packaging guides advises us to connect Google Home. As it is only available in English, it will of course be necessary to use an adapter and connect it via WiFi. Once this is done, the light above the “G” lights up like those on the upper surface. Google Home, with its feminine voice and always in English, asks the user to download the application that we will explain later.

The Google Home must remain connected to continue to operate. It is the easiest to use. All you have to do is say OK GOOGLE. Voice detection is often risky, as the assistant does not detect our solicitation. Sometimes, a few meters away, the device reacts to our “OK GOOGLE” but remains silent our mouth glued to the microphones. This situation also occurs in the opposite direction. The accent certainly plays a role in voice detection, but in any case, make sure you speak clearly and avoid the ambient noise.

If the “OK, GOOGLE” does not work, the alternative is to place your finger on the top of the device for several seconds. The blue, red, yellow and green lights on the upper surface illuminate and rotate before stopping. This second option has, on many occasions, allowed us to bypass voice detection.

It is now the user’s turn to interact aloud with Google Home, the scope of which we will detail in the next section. After a few seconds of reflection, the camera, with its always feminine voice, responds to each request. When these are properly understood, Google Home has never made us long for much time.

The upper surface is a touch screen. A simple press in its center allows you to pause the music and stop any current order. Even after several hours of downtime, the device remembers the song and restarts it when, due to inattention, we rested our finger on the top surface.

The volume is adjusted by rotating the finger in a circular motion in the center of the screen. Small white lights appear to fill or empty the gauge. At the same time, Google Home emits sounds to give the user an idea of the volume. Of course, all these commands can be required by voice.

Google Home has a mute button on one of its slices to turn off the device’s microphones. This will prevent him from listening to conversations that are not intended for him. It emits an audible warning and the lights illuminate orange.

Finally, several Google Home can connect together to, for example, play the same music in each room.

Features of Google Home

Google Home answers most of your voice questions. What is the weather like? Who is Donald Trump? The assistant is able to distinguish between those to which he cannot give us answers and those to which he simply did not understand. Unsurprisingly, Google Home is more knowledgeable about the American universe than French.

When the request is correctly understood, Google Home has always provided us with the right answer. He is already aware that Donald Trump is the President of the United States and that J. K. Rowling’s latest film is being played in the cinema. Supported by Google, the assistant is impressive for getting answers to complex and precise requests. For example, to the question “where can I find ebony bars in the Skyrim game”, Google Home drew a useful answer from a Wikipedia page.

It can respond to other types of orders such as news announcements or traffic conditions to get to the Eiffel Tower. Navigation and translation are supported through Google Maps and Translate services.

Google Home has other capabilities such as scheduling alarms or announcing your next appointment. With the user’s permission, the assistant can enter the device smartphone to send messages or book a trip with the Uber application. If you are in a rather teasing mood, Google Home offers some on-demand “Play games”. It is best to learn the basics of Shakespeare’s language to interact with the device and play against a friend.

In terms of music listening, Google Home can play songs from Youtube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, TuneIn and Pandora. Except for the last two, all of them ask for premium accounts, so they have to pay. However, you can stream music from your smartphone applications to a TV or speakers by connecting Chromecast.

Apart from foreign songs for Google Home, it correctly understands the user’s orders. The sound of Google Home is quite well balanced. The basses surprise by their strength for a device with such dimensions. However, the device will not replace a full Bluetooth speaker.

Google Home connects with smart devices such as the Nest and Philips Hue product series to regulate temperature or control lights. We tried it with a lamp from the Philips Hue range. Its control with Google Home is convenient, not requiring the user to make any movement.

The wizard can also control products and services that are compatible with Google Cast technology. As a result, it is possible to ask him to watch your favorite Netflix series on your TV or Youtube videos. An IFTTT control is possible to connect other devices or applications. However, Google announces an improvement of the services compatible with its assistant.

Ecovacs, Eufy and iRobot: The suction robot Wednesday at a glance

As part of the Cyber-Monday week, Amazon is offering several suction robots at reduced prices today, Wednesday.

Afterwards we will give you an overview of the different models and their abilities, which should help you to make the house cleaning easier, but we will start with a recommendation which has already been made several times: If you’re not afraid of China senders, you should definitely take a look at the two app-controlled models of Xiaomi during the comparison.

We have already introduced both the Mi Robot and the Roborock in detail and personally rank among the big fans of the Asian “cockroaches”.

They can be ordered for ~230 Euro (Mi Robot) respectively for ~350 Euro (Roborock). But let’s take a look at the candidates that Amazon has put in the limelight today.

Ecovacs Robotics Deebot 901

Ecovacs Robotics Deebot 901

The Deebot 901 is one of the top models from Ecovacs Robotics. It is equipped with intelligent laser navigation and creates virtual maps in the app, which can of course also be used to control it. It can also be sent to work by Alexa, which worked wonderfully in a practical test I did a few months ago with the white and otherwise identical version (Deebot 900).

Amazon offers the black Deebot 901 – today it’s only 339 Euro instead of 449 Euro – but in my opinion and experience it’s a good and above all intelligent acting suction robot that did well in my apartment. The difference to the top model Deebot OZMO 930 is the fact that the 901 cannot wipe. If that doesn’t bother you, you’ll get an intelligent and smart suction robot that does good suction in practice. However, I personally liked the Xiaomi Mi Roborock that we tested here a bit more.

Deebot 600

Deebot 600 and Deebot N79S

Two other suction robots from Ecovacs are part of today’s Cyber-Monday week offers from Amazon. The Deebot 600 is the “little brother” of the 900 series. It does not offer laser-based navigation, but at least systematic cleaning thanks to Smart Move technology. It can also be controlled and programmed via the App and Alexa. I hadn’t tested the Ecovacs Deebot 600 myself yet. Today it is available for 199 Euro instead of the usual 269 Euro.

Even cheaper is the Deebot N79S (154.99 Euro instead of 249 Euro), one of the manufacturer’s entry-level models. Also it offers the well-known control by App as well as Alexa. However, it does not work systematically, but randomly. Personally I am not a friend of this chaotic cleaning method, because it is inefficient and not so thorough. Therefore, I would rather advise you to use one of the higher-quality models.

Eufy RoboVac 11

The Eufy RoboVac 11 also cruises through the house according to the chaos principle. Also together with the Deebot N79S, it has that it is now on offer at Amazon. The price is at a similar level, namely 151.79 euros instead of 209.99 euros.

The great strength of the Eufy RoboVac 11 is its low overall height of just 7.8 cm. This is why it fit under my sofa without any problems during the practical test, whereas other suction robots failed miserably. What he lacks is a WLAN connection. It is therefore less smart and can only be controlled and programmed using the remote control supplied. On the other hand, the four different cleaning modes are positive.

IRobot Roomba 691 Plus Amazon Echo Dot

iRobot Roomba 691 plus Amazon Echo Dot

The fifth reduced suction robot comes from the well-known manufacturer iRobot, one of the flagships of the still very young industry. Today you can get its Roomba 691 at Amazon for 354 Euro and an Echo Dot, but only of the 2nd generation. Nevertheless the duo fits together quite well, because the Roomba 691 can not only be controlled via App, but also via Alexa.

It also has a lot to offer in other respects what makes the iRobot Saugrobos so special. These include high suction power and adjustable schedules. But I couldn’t try the Roomba 691 myself yet…