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  • Best VDay Gift: Machine That Folds & De-Wrinkles Laundry!

    Plus, a kitchen table that teaches you to cook and a robot nanny that can entertain kids.
    by Rachel Perez .
Best VDay Gift: Machine That Folds & De-Wrinkles Laundry!
PHOTO BY confusedsandals.com and womenadvancenc.org
  • With kids, a husband, and a home to manage (hey don't forget you), we need all the help we can get. And these robots and machines aim to do that -- we're just not sure about the last one. 

    You’ll spend less time folding the laundry.
    FoldiMate, a California-based startup company, has invented a machine that could fold a freshly laundered shirt in 10 seconds. You clip your clothes one-by-one on to the space designated and turn it on. The feature we like is the built-in steam system to de-wrinkle shirts, tops, and trousers, and produce neatly folded and steamed garments. It can also soften, sanitize, and make your clothes smell good.  

    Our problem with the machine is you still need to clip the clothes on the machine one-by-one. It also can't handle underwear or big items such as bed sheets. Plus there's the price at US$800. Dealbreaker? 

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    You’ll be a kitchen goddess!
    Swedish furniture giant Ikea has envisioned the kitchen table of the future -- and it is making us hyperventilate with excitement! 

    Using a projector suspended from above, Ikea's "A Table for Living" suggests recipes you can make with the ingredients you put on it! You won't need measuring cups and weighing scale; the table will weigh the ingredients for you and teach you how to cut them. It even lets you explore flavor combinations. You can also feed it recipes from a book, tablet, or smartphone. Designed with the help of global design consultancy Ideo and students from Lund University and the Eindhoven University of Technology, the table can cook your dish pronto, thanks to the built-in hob feature. The table can even keep your coffee warm and charge your mobile devices. 

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    The table concept was "inspired by the idea of families sitting around the campfire, sharing stories of the day, and cooking," according to Business Insider, and Ikea says it could help "make us more confident cooks while letting less food go to waste." The company projects "A Table For Living" could be in almost every home by 2025. That's less than 10 years from now. Can 2025 come any sooner?

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    You’ll have someone (thing) to watch the kids
    Machines have made jobs and life easier, but they could never replicate a person's human touch, at least not yet. That said, Avatarmind, a tech company with offices in Silicon Valley and China, decided to make a robot nanny.

    The three-foot-tall pastel-colored talking robot, called iPal, is designed to be a "friendly companion to play with and talk naturally" with a child, according to an article on Entrepreneur. It can dance, tell stories, play games (rock, paper, scissors, anyone?), and it has a touchscreen tablet with a bunch of installed apps to keep the kids occupied. It also doubles as a security device with its built-in surveillance camera. The robot nanny is also equipped with artificial intelligence technology that adapts to your child's like and dislikes and sync in a cloud to "increase its knowledge on subjects of interest to your child."


    Avatarmind stresses that "iPal is not a cold, unfeeling machine." It has an "emotion management system" that automatically detects and reacts to a child's feelings. Hmmm...it's a big leap for moms to entrust their children to robots. Maybe if you really in dire need of like 15 minutes of quality alone time to gather yourself? Or maybe so that you can shower long enough without interruption? Yeah, that's a big maybe.

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