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Home > Auto & Technology > Wacky Home Inventions

Some of these contraptions lack purpose. Some of them automatically do things that we take for granted or could easily do ourselves. Some of them are just there to add a little pizzazz to an otherwise ordinary existence. And some are downright useful....

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1) UV Fruit Bowl

This device sheds UV blue wavelength light over the top and around the sides of the bowl. UV light waves have been proven to inactivate certain types of bacteria, like E. Coli and salmonella, in addition to ethylene gas, a gas that speeds up the rotting process. By clearing off this bacteria, the BLUE bowl keeps your produce safe and fresh for longer. The device can be plugged in or recharged. It's not currently in production, but the BLUE Bowl has been creating buzz on the Web.

blue bowl

2) Fold-out Balcony

This balcony is a heavy-duty window frame made of steel and aluminum and installed into a window space. A motorized leverage system lowers the balcony in a controlled manner with the help of reinforced steel bars. The award-winning Bloomframe folding balcony was set to begin production in early 2008. It can be customized to most windows and is available in a range of colours.

fold out balcony

3) Pool PC

The Pool PC was designed and invented by Barry Lai Yin Lock for the NextGen PC Design Competition. It's not yet on the market, but this waterproof PC is feasible, made from low-density (floatable) waterproof plastics and solar-powered, which abolishes the need to plug in. While most computers need a fan to keep the processing unit cool, this PC uses the pool water it's floating on to cool it, instead. The touchable user interface eliminates the need for a keyboard, which would create air pockets and places for water to seep in. It includes a GPS device (in case you get lost at sea), Bluetooth wireless and Internet access. Not only that, but it includes a stretchable attachment so that it can fit to any size of pool ring or inner tube.

swimming pool pc

4) Hovering Recliner

Shown at the Sony House of the Future in London, the Hoverit Recliner is no ordinary chair. Hand-built using clear plastics and powerful repelling magnets, the Hoverit Lounger chair floats from its base. The chair and the base incorporate magnets of opposing poles to push the chair upwards. Some people believe magnets have health benefits, like weight loss and muscle contouring, which gives this chair added value. But beware. The chair comes with some standard warnings: Keep it away from computers, credit cards and other cards with magnetic strips,cell phones, and large metallic objects -- you really don't want the spatula and grill flying at you while you're trying to relax. People with pacemakers should also steer clear of the chair in case of magnetic pulse interference. Televisions and other screens with cathode ray tubes may also be shorted out by the lounger.

Hovering Recliner

5) USB Houseplant

The pot connects to a USB cable that can download your plant's statistics -- soil moisture levels, light levels, temperature and near-death experiences -- into your computer, which helps you to keep track of its progress. Not only that, but it can tell when you've watered too much and siphons the extra water into a standby dish. Overall, the Digital Pot is a recipe not only for happy, healthy plants, but also friendly home décor (well…as long as you water the plants).

usb houseplant

6) Interactive Coffee Table

This coffee table is called the Wave, and it uses LED lights to interact with whatever is placed on or near the table's surface. LEDs, or light emitting diodes, are bright white lights that don't use a filament (the little wire inside a bulb) like incandescent light bulbs. Instead, they have a phosphor coating that creates a white light. The coffee table lights up using circuitry and optical sensors that can read pressure and light changes when something is placed near them. The Wave is powered by a cord that is easily hidden and needs no programming or upkeep. Not only is this coffee table attractive and responsive, it's environmentally friendly. It uses sustainable, non-formaldehyde plywood from American Maple, is finished with a water-based lacquer and uses only 35 watts of energy when fully lighted. Most of the time it's dormant, using even less energy. Depending on your table-top and shipping preferences, the coffee table can cost anywhere from $1,795 to $2,340.

interactive wave coffee table

7) Swiss Army Bathroom

This contraption reminds me of a giant Swiss Army knife. From the bottom, a sink swivels out, revealing the toilet beneath (which stays in place and empties into the connected plumbing). Storage bins slide out next, and two shower heads are revealed. The bathroom itself is one big tiled room with a drain in the center, allowing you to swivel the showerhead into any position you prefer. The Vertebrae bathroom unit was designed to fit into small urban apartments, maximizing living space. Featured in the Sony House of Tomorrow in London, it's for sale today. It comes in a wide range of colors and costs about $15,000 (not too bad considering the amount of money room renovations cost). It can be put into a corner and takes up very little space, considering it includes so many bathroom fixtures.

swiss army bathroom

8) Musical Home Oxygen Bar

Remember the oxygen bar craze -- people gathering together to breathe in oxygen? Well, now you can have that experience in the comfort of your own home. The Zadro Oxygen bar comes with built-in soothing sounds and allows you to add your own essential oils to enhance youraromatherapy oxygen experience. The oxygen comes from a small compressor (which doubles as a speaker) that can easily sit out of sight on the floor while you relax in a chair. It hooks up to an oxygen-emitting tube that sends the air up to your nostrils. Essential oils can be added to the oxygen filter to "flavor" the air for you. This product retails for $299. Not to be used for medical purposes, the product has a silent motor that compresses the oxygen and removes extra moisture. Breathe deeply and enjoy the effects of clean, pure oxygen.

Musical Home Oxygen Bar

9) Electronic Bidet

This toilet seat attachment is the Washlet S400. Designed by Toto, it only works with select Toto toilets (included here with the Vertebrae only for story-telling purposes). The Washlet is controlled by a wall-mounted remote control and can be set to work automatically. The innovative toilet raises and lowers the toilet lid (ending spats between you and your spouse), flushes automatically and acts as a bidet, spraying a warm stream of water onto the user for ultimate cleanliness. Toto products are not available online, but the Washlet can be found at retail stores across the U.S. and Canada for about $1,890.

electronic bidet

10) Woofer Speaker System

These Woofer Speakers -- pun intended -- function as any other woofer speakers would, except their dog statue design is suited for a hunting lodge, rec room or pop art studio. Each order comes in sets of two in either black or white for $1,479.00 (free shipping to U.S. and Canada). Designed by Sander Mulder, the Woofers are made from polyester and contain 180-watt speakers.

woofer speaker
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