Holiday Shopping: Top 3 Household Tech Appliances for 2010

I remember when I was growing up, there was a cartoon that always caught my attention -- The Jetsons. I was always in awe of the Jetsons. I was not impressed with the family -- I mean after all it was a cartoon. I was simply engaged with the technology -- the gizmo-crazed futurism. The Jetsons originally aired in 1962 and here we are nearly 50 years later and we still don't have the fold-up flying cars. What we do have are Jetsons-like home technologies that simply make our lives a little bit more manageable.

The George Foreman Grill is a real-time saver. We simply set the temperature and time from the digital display -- then drop the protein on the grill. When the time is up the Foreman Grill peeps to let you know it's done cooking. What we love the most is that the grill is easy to clean. Simply drop the grilling plates in the dishwasher and you're done. Here are the product details from Amazon:
  • Enjoy healthy cooking with nonstick coating that lets you cook without oil or butter
  • A 4-plate starter set, plus the option to expand with up to 6 additional plates; this starter-set includes 2 grill plates, 1 deep-dish bake pan and 1 cupcake and muffin pan insert
  • Digital time and temperature controls make it easy to use, while dishwasher-safe removable plates and accessories ensure no-fuss cleanup
  • Additional plates available for purchase include the omelet and snack plate set, waffle plate set, shallow griddle pan, and mini burger insert
I have owned iRobot products in the past. I have enjoyed each one of them. My only issue was with the battery. The iRobot cleaners always died before they were done cleaning. The Scooba does a much better job in managing battery life. So yes, the Scooba does a very nice job in mopping hard floors. It also sweeps as it's mopping -- although I have found that the sweeping feature is secondary. The Scooba is modular so cleaning it or filling it up with water is very simple.  Here are the product details from Amazon:
  • Floor-washing robot cleans sealed hardwood, tile, linoleum, and more
  • Can handle up to 250 square feet on a single battery charge
  • Uses water, water and vinegar, or Clorox Scooba cleaning solution
  • Preps, washes, scrubs, and dries; cliff sensor; 1 virtual wall included
The Mint Cleaner is just a great little hard floor cleaner. I simply supply the Swiffer Dry Sheets, turn the cleaner on and away it goes. It is guided by the NorthStar Navigation System so it does a very nice job in covering every square inch. It is also very quite so you can turn it on right before you go to bed. Here are the product details from Amazon:
  • Compact robot cleans up to 3 hours on single charge using microfiber cloths or most brands of disposable cloths
  • Guided by North Star Navigation System to methodically clean open areas, around furniture and rugs, and along room perimeter
  • Whisper-quiet operation; turns itself off when finished
  • Low maintenance with no bins to empty or filters to change
These technologies most certainly fall short from anything the Jetsons had, but I have to admit I am still very impressed with what we do have in our homes.