iStock
iStock

Drones Are Being Tested as the Home Security Systems of Tomorrow

iStock
iStock

A future in which homeowners display “Beware of Drone” signs on their property may not be too far off. As CNN reports, Sunflower Labs, a startup based in Silicon Valley and Zurich, Switzerland, plans to beta test their drone-based home security system halfway through 2017.

Like conventional security technology, the Sunflower Home Awareness System is designed to detect possible intruders. Smart lights in the ground pick up on vibrations, and the system discerns whether they were produced by an animal, vehicle, or person. It can also tell the difference between threatening visitors and trustworthy people like mail carriers, based on their behavior.

What sets Sunflower Labs's product apart is the drone feature. After sensing a suspicious character, the system contacts the homeowner through his or her smartphone and asks if they’d like to deploy the drone. The onboard camera records the source of the disturbance from 30 feet above, allowing users to judge if it’s worth notifying the police. The startup hopes this aspect of the system will limit the rate of false alarms.

Like any company looking to launch drones on U.S. soil, Sunflower Labs has a lot of legal hoops to jump through. As of August, the Federal Aviation Administration made it illegal for commercial drones to fly autonomously. That’s the reason why companies like Domino’s have been forced to take their drone technology ideas overseas. But because these security drones will be used by homeowners for non-business purposes, the team believes they should have no trouble passing for recreational drones.

Sunflower Labs plans to sell the system for $160 per light and $800 per drone when it’s made available next year. Customers who reserve the security system early will receive a $100 discount when it’s shipped.

[h/t CNN]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Kenmore
Kenmore's New Stand Mixer Might Whip the KitchenAid Classic
Kenmore
Kenmore

A KitchenAid stand mixer has long been a home baker's best friend. It out-mixes, -kneads, and -beats most of its competitors, all while looking gorgeous on a kitchen countertop. But in the Kenmore Ovation, the iconic stand mixer may have finally met its match. According to Reviewed, the Kenmore product rivals the KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart mixer in terms of performance and design.

The elements of the two stand mixers are basically the same: Both come with three standard attachments—a flat beater, a dough hook, and a wire whisk. The Ovation is heavier than a KitchenAid, which means it doesn't scoot across your counter when it's working dense bread dough. It also takes just as much time to prepare heavy and chunky doughs in an Ovation as it does in a KitchenAid.

Hand pouring milk into a stand mixer.
Kenmore

Kenmore's product also offers some special features that the KitchenAid doesn't have. Instead of struggling to pour ingredients down the side of the bowl while it sits beneath the mixer, you can add them through the Ovation's patented pour-in hole on top of the machine. And the Ovation's glass bowl comes with a 360-degree splash guard that keeps your kitchen and your clothes flour- and batter-free as you mix.

The Ovation does have a few drawbacks: The six-pound glass bowl is hard to move around, as is the 30-pound mixer itself if you ever want to relocate it. But if you're looking for a sturdier stand mixer option, you can purchase the Kenmore Ovation for $350 to $400. Or you can stick with the classics and finally take home that KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart mixer you've been dreaming of: It's currently on sale at Amazon for $240.

[h/t Reviewed]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
Here's a Brilliantly Simple Way to Organize the Food Container Lids Taking Over Your Cabinets
iStock
iStock

You likely have spots in your kitchen for pots, glasses, and plates, but when it comes to food containers, organization gets complicated. Maybe you let them float loose in a giant bin, or tuck them into any free corner you can find in your cabinets. Either way, finding a matching lid for your bottom half may take longer than it should when it finally comes time to store your leftovers.

Luckily, there's a better way. This simple organizer spotted by Food & Wine keeps storage lids separated by size, saving you minutes otherwise spent tearing apart your kitchen.

The Linus Lid Organizer has three compartments: one for up to 12 large lids, and two for up to 13 small lids each. The lightweight plastic item covers an area of 11 inches by 7.5 inches, which means it can fit in your cabinets, on your counter, or on top of your fridge without taking up too much space. And at just $15, it's worth the price—especially if you end up buying a new set of storage containers every year when you misplace one too many lids.

Container for storage lids.
Container Store

You can purchase the Linus Lid Organizer online from the Container Store. For more kitchen organization hacks, check out our list of ways to keep the space beneath your sink neat and tidy.

[h/t Food & Wine]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios