Home as Headquarters
With remote work on the rise, robots and other new tech make the job easier.
We may all be on the same Zoom call, but we may not all be speaking the same language. The Timekettle M2 is one of the smallest translator devices available, styled like a pair of Apple Airbuds. Timekettle perfected simultaneous live translation with its WT2 earpiece, and is seeking a wider audience with the M2, which uniquely functions like a regular pair of earbuds, playing music and taking phone calls in addition to translating 40 different languages and 93 accents. $130; timekettle.com
The Shure MV5C Home Office Microphone may look retro, but it works using intuitive controls and smart technology. Unlike laptop microphones that pick up every sound in the room, the plug-and-play device prioritizes the user’s voice as it takes in studio-level sound quality. The adjustable stand ensures it easily tilts toward the speaker’s mouth for video conference calls, distance learning, and your new podcast gig. Headphones sold separately. $99; shure.com
Is that distant thump in another part of the house something to worry about or not? The Arlo Essential Indoor Camera lets you keep a remote eye on small children, elderly family members, or rambunctious pets. The device features high-definition video and a 160-degree diagonal field of view, motion, and audio detection as well as two-way voice communication. It’s also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, but a privacy shield gives owners the final decision as to when the device is on or off. From $100; arlo.com
The chest-high Samsung Bot Handy rolls around the house with two expressive eyes and a single arm. Artificial intelligence commands its robotic hand, which is sensitive enough to detect the force necessary to deliver a wine glass without breaking it. The robot recognizes and sorts objects well enough to clean up messy rooms and load the dishwasher too. The company has announced plans for additional robotic staff, including Bot Care (which acts much like a home secretary), a robotic security dog with a screen instead of a head, and the JetBot 90 AI Plus vacuum cleaner. Release dates and pricing details had not yet been announced at press time. samsung.com
When you’re working from home, leave the messier details to devices like the Roborock S7. Sophisticated mapping technology allows the disk-shaped cleaner to switch between mopping hard surfaces and vacuuming carpets without your intervention. Scrub settings range from 1,650 times per minute to 3,000 times per minute so even tough, dried-on messes succumb to cleaning. It cleans for up to three hours on a single charge, responds to voice commands, and an app tracks its movements. $649; us.roborock.com