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June 14, 2019

Editors’ Picks: Best in Technology

By Emma

Elite Traveler editors are always on the go and trying out the latest technology for their homes and lifestyles. Technology is designed to make everyday tasks more streamlined and accessible, so whether it’s trying out the best headphones for lengthy outdoor runs, or the simplest way to grow vegetables at home, here are the best technology picks from our editors to make your busy life just a little bit more manageable.

Samantha Coles, Managing Editor

Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator, $3,000


Samsung launched the Family Hub refrigerator three years ago, an ‘app-based experienced anchored in food management, family connections and entertainment.’ The latest model, unveiled earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is so much more than a place to keep your food fresh (although it does, of course, do that too). The refrigerator has a ‘Family Board’ screen that acts as a digital bulletin board where you and your family can stick notes, photos, hand-written notes, and doodles on the screen. It can also stream music and radio — perfect if you’re following a recipe. The refrigerator also has an AI personal assistant named Bixby: ask it for the daily news while you make your morning coffee, if you need an umbrella for the day, call an Uber, and any remind you of any important to-dos. Bixby can distinguish each family member’s voice so when you speak to it, you get information tailored to you. There is also an internal camera that displays the contents of your fridge on your smart phone so you know exactly what to pick up from the farmers’ market or decide what to have for dinner — or, the Meal Planner feature can suggest recipes based on what you have.

Click and Grow Smartgarden 9, $200


If you’ve ever cultivated your own crops or flowers, you’ll know how satisfying it can be when that first bloom appears, but requires an attentive and patient gardener. Smart gardens bring all the joy of gardening into your kitchen but with much easier maintenance — key for frequent travelers. Click and Grow’s Smartgarden is self-growing and produces super-local herbs, flowers and vegetables. It uses Click and Grow’s ‘smart soil’— inspired by NASA technology, the soil creates releases nutrients in sync with the plant’s life cycle, keeps soil pH balanced, and employs tiny oxygen pockets to guarantee that plants get ample breathing room and nutrients even when the soil is wet. It comes with mini tomato, mini basil and green lettuce biodegradable plant capsules and a subscription service is available to keep your garden indoor thriving with ease.

Barisier Tea or Coffee Brewing Alarm Clock, $440


The most curiously designed coffee-brewer-cum-alarm-clock; the Barisier looks more like a scientist’s bench than an apparatus to make your morning cup of Joe. It is striking in design (it has won a number of awards) and will be a sleek addition to your kitchen or home office and pays homage to the retro teasmade — just with updated technology such as a Peltier cooler that is automatically activated by an infrared sensor to keep milk chilled; an induction heater and a fine-meshed metal filter which allows oils in the coffee to pass through. The Barisieur is the brainchild of Joshua Renouf: He designed the piece while studying in university and, after sharing it online, it went viral and caught the eye of Sir Richard Branson. Renouf achieved his crowd-funding target and the Barisier can now be seen in Four Seasons Hotels and in the coolest homes. It is available in black or white.

Emma Reynolds, Assistant Luxury Editor

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 2.0 Motion Headphones, $350

As a marathon runner, I need headphones that endure hours of running and movement. I can’t tell you how many headphones I’ve gone through during my years of intense training, but I can tell you that these Beoplay E8 Motion headphones are truly remarkable. They fit snug in your ear and its precise touch technology allows you to change your song, answer a phone call or take voice commands. The pods are made of aluminum with a wireless charging case; the second you return the earpods to its leather-bound home, they’re ready for your next run, bike or walk to work. I also love the color options including the opportunity for customization.

MZ Skin Light-Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device, $625

London-based aesthetic surgeon Dr Maryam Zamani has skincare products that truly aim to transform your skin. As a plastic surgeon, she knows that skin is always firm. She told Elite Traveler back in December: “The skin is the foundation for every procedure we do. If you have greater collagen production, clearer skin and improved tone and texture, other treatments done surgically or non-surgically will be accentuated.” After my conversation with her, I became most intrigued by her latest launch: Light-Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device. It addresses various skin concerns with each color; for example, red stimulates collagen and elastin while blue light balances an clarifies by reducing bacteria. Starting with just 10 minutes two to three times a week, it’s easy to get clearer skin at home without spending thousands at your dermatologist’s office. It’s a game changer. Read my interview with Dr Maryam Zamani

Dyson Pure Hot + Cool HP04 Purifier, $650


Living in New York City, we are exposed to an unthinkable amount of pollutants daily. To keep my living space clean, I rely on my Dyson Pure Hot + Cool HP04 Purifying Heater + Fan to keep my living space clear of nasty chemicals. The benefit of this specific model is that it senses airborne particles and gases and diagnoses and reports them in real time. Not only does it detect them but an activated carbon filter removes gases and HEPA filters attract nearly 99.97 percent of allergens and pollutants. What I also love is that on cold winter nights or hot summer days, there’s a heating and cooling system with 350-degree oscillation so your entire space is either heated up or cooled down to your preference. There are few things Dyson can’t do!

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Alex Martin, Web Editor

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, $950

Garmin is by far the biggest player in the sports watch market and for good reason. The Fenix 5 Plus is the flagship model and contains everything I need from a swim in my local pool to a weekend expedition in the mountains. The preloaded maps make sure I can explore isolated areas without fear of getting lost while the detailed analysis of my heart rate tells me when I am over–or under–training. It stores music and has Garmin Pay, which means I can leave my smartphone and wallet behind when heading out for a run. Their premium model is made with a sapphire lens and a titanium band, making it virtually indestructible no matter how hard you push it.

Bose SoundLink Revolve + Portable Speaker, $300

Camping is one of my favorite pastimes and while I love the sounds of nature, the experience would not be the same if I could not play my own music and catch up on podcasts. My possessions go through a lot when they are out and about, so it is important they are built tough. This speaker has great sound quality for its size and fits easily into my weekend backpack. It has a good level of water resistance (essential for British summertime) and can handle the rough and tumble associated with life in the outdoors. It lasts for up to 16 hours on a single charge meaning I don’t have to worry about the party being cut short.

Wahoo Kickr Smart Trainer, $1,300

If my house was on fire, this is what I would grab first. The fact that it weighs 47lbs means it would probably be the last decision I ever make. The Wahoo Kickr Smart Trainer has revolutionized my cycling, allowing me to train hard through the depths of winter. The device acts as a rear wheel on your road bike and connects to your computer. You can then access Zwift, a virtual training world where you can cycle around the roads of New York from anywhere in the world alongside people thousands of miles away. It is an addictive game that makes training fun, so much so that I have even started using it in the summer.

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