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4 Household Products That Make Life Easier | SUCCESS

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In the past, a sturdy and reliable, centrally located, wall-mounted home telephone was the entire beginning and end of a family’s technology. Fast forward to today, with our homes that brim with household products like chargers that connect to cellphones, smartwatches, Bluetooth headphones, tablets and more. Luckily, there are other types of technology beyond the typical must-haves that benefit families who are eager to find the right options for them.

From calendar organization accommodating multiple people and schedules, to improved hearing for elderly family members, technology has leveled up to both our needs and expectations. Here are four household products families can consider to improve their function and flow amid their daily routines.

1. Hearth Display

Is soccer practice happening during your last meeting of the day? Fortunately, you’ll remember it this time thanks to the Hearth Display. Picture your Google Calendar or iPhone Calendar. It’s full of everyone’s schedules and whereabouts, conveniently located on a large screen in the family’s main thoroughfare, kitchen or “drop zone” where the backpacks and coats end up. However, it doesn’t look like another screen tech-ing up your house since the company offers a customizable frame that rivals your prettiest picture frames.

“Since no system exists to manage day-to-day life for families, a disproportionate amount of effort gets placed on one person, the default caregiver,” says Susie Harrison, Hearth Display co-founder. “Our features are designed to help equitably distribute the workload across the whole family. Designing features that motivate kids to get involved with household responsibilities is core to our mission. Everything we do is designed with multiple users in mind.”

Hearth Display’s Essential Features

Hearth Display’s CEO and co-founder Mei Lin Ng underscores the importance of these features, especially in a household with children. “We find that all households and families benefit from using Hearth. That said, right now, Hearth is focused on building for families with school-aged kids, because we find that family management becomes a more acute pain point as kids take on more responsibility and have busier schedules in the school-age years.”

Nathalie Mansueti Stratton, another of Hearth Display’s three co-founders, is especially excited about the newly launched Weather Widget feature. Stratton calls it a “game changer” for kids being able to plan their days on their own. “Getting dressed can be a huge part of kids’ growing autonomy in their morning routines,” Stratton says. “We’re learning that something as simple as referencing the local weather on their Hearth Display empowers kids with a sense of ownership over their day and the outfits they wear to step out into the world.”

The next time you find yourself shouting the complex schedule across the house during the scramble to get out the door, maybe just skip it. Besides, the screen will speak for itself.

Specifications

• Device size: 16.5 in wide x 26.7 in high

• Device weight: 16 lbs

• Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled

• Family membership of $9/month or $7.20/month for an annual subscription 

• Price: $599

2. Mill

What if there was a super easy-to-use “trash” can in your home, designated just for food scraps, such as that kale you bought with the best intentions during last week’s grocery trip? Throw in that apple core, those eggshells and most other things you can think of. The Mill food recycler grinds them up into a soil-like compost overnight with a near silent machine and odor-control mechanism. Even if you are still opening the can days or weeks later to add more, you won’t smell last week’s leftovers.

“The initial idea for Mill came about around the start of the pandemic,” says Harry Tannenbaum, co-founder and president at Mill. “I started taking closer note of all of the garbage we were producing at home on a daily basis and how much time it took to deal with it. How was it that, in 2020, we were still dealing with stinky trash? And once I started noticing it, I sort of couldn’t stop seeing it everywhere.”

He was floored to learn that food was the single largest type of material in the landfill. “Our households (not restaurants or stadiums) are the main contributor to food waste. And the main driver for this is that uneaten food gets icky and is hard to deal with,” he says.

So where do the grounds end up? You can schedule pickups and the company will turn them into food for chickens. Furthermore, you can also team up with a local farm to turn your scraps into fresh produce or just use them in your own garden.

Specifications

• Device size: 16.6 inches wide x 27.2 inches high x 13.8 inches deep

• Device weight: 6.5l/1.7 gal bucket

• Quiet running at 42 decibels

• Steel enclosure with charcoal filter and LED interface

• Wi-Fi-enabled

• 8.2 foot power cord

• Price: Monthly rental of $50/month, annual rental of $30/month or purchase for $999

3. Kindle Scribe

Have you ever scribbled down some notes during a phone call at your kitchen counter and wished you could just quickly adapt them into an email? The Kindle Scribe has an answer for that. It’s a digital notebook with a pen and paper-like writing experience, including a stylus. You can create folders and subfolders to keep all those notes to yourself organized, moving away from Post-it notes of the past.

Corey Badcock, director and head of Kindle product and marketing at Amazon describes a story another member of the Kindle team recently shared. A family friend of that team member bought a Kindle Scribe for their 8-year-old son, who struggled to write with a pencil as he could not apply enough pressure.

“With the Kindle Scribe, he’s been able to write more comfortably and…now his son does all his homework on Kindle Scribe. A great example of the ways digital writing can improve the writing experience for some over a pen or pencil,” Badcock says.

Therefore, if you are an active reader and want to jot down notes as you move through a nonfiction book, this household product might be perfect for you. “For readers, it delivers an immersive reading experience with the largest display on any Kindle,” Badcock adds.

Specifications

• Device size: 7.7 inches x 9.0 inches x .22 inches

• Device weight: 15.3 ounces

• Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz)

• Rechargeable. A single charge lasts up to 12 weeks. Fully charges in seven hours using computer USB-C cable or in two-and-a-half hours using a 9W USB-C power adapter.

• Display size: 10.2 inches, glare-free, 300 ppi

• Price: $254-$320, depending on specifications, pen style and storage size.

4. HP Sprocket Portable Instant Color Photo Printer

For some families, access to tangible photos isn’t as easy as it used to be, as there aren’t any photo albums to grab and leaf through—just passwords to remember to access virtual storage. Furthermore, household products like the HP Sprocket Portable 2×3 Instant Color Photo Printer bring these memories to life instantly, offering the ability to print small photos on the go, in real time.

Say you are at a kid’s concert or traveling with the family and take a picture. You can print it instantly as it connects through Bluetooth and gift the picture to someone. Likewise, you can also add it to a journal or display it on the fridge.

“We have seen a lot of consumers and creators use the HP Sprocket 2×3 in very creative ways. We’ve seen it used to recap events and memories month-to-month, as a way to relive moments with bullet journals, as a way to document and recap people’s reading journeys and so much more,” says Chaim Piekarski, founder of New Jersey-based C+A Global, a brand-building and licensee company for entities like HP and Kodak. “We have also seen people use it at events or on trips to print photos in the moment and bring their pictures home as keepsakes.”

There’s nothing like a family photo at a bucket-list destination to send in place of an overpriced postcard. 

Specifications

• Device size: 4.63 inches x 3.15 inches x 0.98 inches

• Device weight: 6.1 ounces

• Portable

• Bluetooth connectivity with the ability to connect to multiple devices. Each device will have a specified LED color that lets you know who is currently printing.

• Rechargeable battery using a micro-USB cable

• Prints 35 photos per charge

• Uses HP Sprocket Zink sticky- backed paper that doesn’t require cartridges, ink or toners (roughly $10/box).

• Price: $71

This article originally appeared in the July 2024 issue of SUCCESS+ Digital Magazine

Photo courtesy of Paul Vincent



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