Five clever things we love: February

Our monthly series of innovative, fun and useful gadgets includes a virtual doorbell and a tiny fitness tracker.


Belkin WeMo Switch - Belkin

This app/plug combination package allows you to use your home wi-fi network to turn on and off electronic devices. The intuitive app is easy to set up, and allows you to activate switches manually, on a schedule, or by activating the motion sensors when you walk into a room. There's no set range for WeMo, meaning you can use your mobile internet to turn off electronics in your home from miles away or to switch your settings. It's only compatible with devices running iOS 5 or later, but otherwise WeMo is compatible with any Apple smartphone or tablet. It's backed by a one-year warranty, and the accompanying app is completely free with the purchase of a plug.

Where To Buy: Available through Belkin or the Apple store

Cost: From $A59.95



Instant Wine Chiller - Ravi

If you want to chill your white wine instantly (but don't want to water it down with ice cubes) consider the Instant Wine Chiller. Store it in your freezer, and when you need to cool your wine, insert the wine chiller into the bottle neck. The inner frozen tube will alter the temperature of your wine to as low as four degrees Celsius as it pours into your glass. The tube is made from the same stainless steel used for wine fermentation tanks, so it never alters the flavour. A valve controls the rate of flow to regulate the wine's temperature, and the Instant Wine Chiller stays efficient for 90 minutes outside of the freezer due to its insulating shell. It comes with a wine thermometer and air pump for thorough hand washing.

Where To Buy: Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

Cost: $US31.98 ($A30.90)


DoorBot wi-fi doorbell camera - Edison Junior

Originally featured on the crowd-funding website Christie Street, the DoorBot is now a fully-realized device/app combo that transmits an audio and video feed over your wi-fi network whenever someone rings the doorbell. The DoorBot does not display a feed to whoever is standing outside the door (so they can't see if you're not home), but it does have an audio feed so you can communicate with the visitor from anywhere in the world. The camera even uses infrared technology to see who's outside the door at night. The DoorBot uses four AA batteries that power it for about a year before it alerts the homeowner to change them. It is made with weather-resistant brushed aluminum, and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.

Where To Buy: Christie Street

Cost: $US189 ($A182.40)



Misfit Shine Fitness Tracker - Misfit Wearables

A lot of fitness gadgets that track your progress are bulky and only come in certain wristband styles. Misfit Shine is the size of a 10-cent coin, and can be worn anywhere. The design is diamond-cut from a block of aircraft-grade aluminum and runs on a replaceable battery that lasts up to six months. The Shine syncs easily with its app by placing the metal dot on your phone screen to download data in seconds. It tracks walking, jogging, running, cycling, and swimming (the Shine is waterproof), and weighs less than 10 grams. Shine took second place in the Consumer Electronics Show's Last Gadget Standing competition, and is shaping up to be one of the biggest new fitness devices of 2013. It can be clipped onto clothing with a clasp, on a necklace, or worn like a watch.

Where To Buy: The Misfit Wearables website

Cost: $US99 ($A95.60)



Well Mannered Grooming Kit - Razor MD

Staying on top of your maintenance routine while travelling can be a challenge. This small but handy kit comes complete with all the tools you need to look sharp while still measuring the size of a small wallet. The kit comes with a pair of scissors, nail clippers, and a chrome laser handle that connects to the razor head or tooth brush, depending on your needs. The foam base keeps everything from shifting while travelling, and it's packaged in a chrome-plated, mirrored compact that weighs less than 1.4 kilograms in total.

Where To Buy: The Razor MD website

Cost: $US99 ($A95.60)