A fresh New Year is upon us, and with it comes an array of innovations across multiple consumer product categories and sectors—from audio to beauty, fashion and self-care to security-minded hardware to killer kitchenware—and much in between. With reports citing that 2019 will be a pivotal year for consumer technology, here’s a look at some noteworthy lifestyle-enhancing solutions that are keen on making an indelible impact on our daily lives this New Year and beyond.
1.Rowkin True Wireless Earbuds (www.Rowkin.com)
True wireless headphones from Rowkin are a perfect gift or get for the New Year, for pretty much anyone and any occasion. The Ascent Charge+ model features an ergonomic fit primed for security and comfort. Constructed with a premium mylar diaphragm driver as well as an acoustic cavity, these earbuds produce dynamic sound and impactful bass with the benefit of touch controls. The case is Qi-compatible for wireless charging (comes with a Qi wireless charger in the box) while also doubling as a power bank to keep your other devices charged courtesy of USB-C rapid charging. The Ascent Charge+ also features a mobile app for locating your earbuds and personalizing your sound profile. The Ascent Micro model also has many similar features to the Ascent Charge+ but is even more compact for easy portability! While small, the Ascent Micro charging case keeps your earbuds charged for up to 17+ hours.
2. Aquio Bluetooth Speaker Water Bottle (www.AquioBottles.com)
USA-designed Aquio water bottles with detachable Bluetooth speaker, powered by iHomeAudio, are manufactured with high-quality stainless steel that is also notably BPA-free. Available in four fashionable colors–midnight, seafoam, merlot and blush–it is an ideal hydration bottle for those who lead an active lifestyle and love taking their music with them on-the-go. Aquio’s removable speaker is powerful, IP67-rated waterproof, sand-proof and features designer weather-resistant premium woven acoustic fabric. Its rechargeable battery provides up to six hours of wireless audio playback time. The 16-ounce bottle, designed to fit all cup holders, is double wall steel-insulated maintaining temperatures up to 14-hours for hot liquids and a full 24-hours for cold. Aquio’s mission is to reduce the world’s reliance on disposable plastic water bottles by making reusable bottles fun and fashionable.
3. iHome Bedside Clock featuring Amazon Alexa (www.iHomeAudio.com)
The iAV14 iHome Bedside Clock is an innovative Bluetooth speaker system with Far-Field Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to play music, audiobooks and more. Control smart home devices, set alarms, get weather, news, traffic and so many other features instrumental to your everyday life. Far-Field Voice Activation for Alexa allows you to issue commands from anywhere in the room. There’s also Bluetooth pairing and audio play via the Alexa technology. The built-in microphone, digital voice echo cancellation, and answer/end controls make speakerphone use a breeze. It streams thousands of music stations via Wi-Fi audio from Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio, Amazon Music, Tunein and others as well. It also supports Spotify Connect, including programmable presets for one-touch playback of any Spotify playlist or album.
The iRestore Hair Growth System is an FDA-cleared device that uses clinical-strength laser technology to treat thinning hair and regrow fuller hair for men and women who unduly suffer from androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss). It uses non-invasive, pain-free, red-light therapy to stimulate growth of thicker and healthier hair. It’s clinically-proven to re-grow hair with no drugs or negative side effects. The best part is, you can use it in the comfort and security of your own home. Plus, you only have to use it for a minimal 25-minutes a day, every other day. Users have reportedly seen results in as little as three to six months. Users can try it risk free, they offer a six-month money back guarantee, plus return shipping.
4. Neutrogena Skin360 Analysis Tool (www.Neutrogena.com)
Neutrogena’s Skin360 is an at-home, dermatologist-grade skin analysis tool that demystifies skincare by tracking skin health both above and below the surface for tailored skincare advice. The Skin360 app it interfaces with leverages Neutrogena’s wealth of scientific research to analyze your personal results. The tool provides scores for pores, lines, wrinkles, offering an overall Skin360 Score that helps form a personalized daily product regimen to keep your skin healthier and happier. When purchasing products with the Skin360 app, users can also get 25 percent off and free shipping from the web site for two years.
5. iHome Zenergy Aroma Bluetooth Therapy Speaker (www.iHomeAudio.com)
Create a calming environment throughout your home with the combination of light, sound and aroma therapy. iHome’s iZABT50 Zenergy Bluetooth Speaker features six different sound therapy tracks designed to calm you mind, lower your breathing and heart rate and prepare your body for sleep. You can also select from seven different 115 Lux, full-color light therapy modes designed to align your circadian rhythm at night and improve your mood throughout the day. iHome’s Zenergy Aroma Bluetooth Therapy Speaker features two audio sources: built-in sound therapy and Bluetooth wireless audio streaming from your mobile device. It also includes aromatherapy to help create a calming environment with the use of essential oils (initial 5ml lavender supply in the box), with absolutely no water needed.
6. Nod Premium Sleep Coach App (www.NodToSleep.com)
Nod Premium is a new baby sleep coaching app from Rest Devices, with users reportedly confirming that, within a few weeks, both parents and their babies consistently got an additional two hours of sleep per night. The new AI technology incorporated in the app was created in partnership with 60 of the world’s leading sleep experts. Nod’s machine-learning platform evaluates parents’ existing bedtime routines for their baby, and then creates a customized plan to optimize each child’s sleep experience based on clinically-validated behavioral techniques. So this is a great solution to help parents and babies sleep easier in the New Year.
7. iHome Beauty Vanity Mirror Magnify Voice (www.iHomeAudio.com)
With built-in Alexa technology and a Bluetooth speaker to boot, you can look your best while enjoying your favorite music or other audio with the iHome Beauty Magnify Voice. Use the USB port to charge your mobile devices as you prepare for the day. The distortion-free mirror has both 1x and 5x magnification for the best beauty routine, as well as a removable 3.5″ 10x detail mirror for more precise grooming. Bright LEDs with high and low settings provide natural looking light for a look that’s right in any situation. You can also stream audio wirelessly via Bluetooth from your mobile device. The built-in microphone, digital voice echo cancellation and “answer and end” controls make speakerphone use a pleasure. Plus, the bright LEDs and audio work independently while operating on an AC adapter.
8. StyleCraft Shmedium Travel Flat Iron (www.StyleCraftUS.com)
Reportedly a celebrity and salon-stylist favorite, the breakthrough StyleCraft Shmedium travel flat iron is a first-of-its-kind device. Its palm-sized making it perfect for travel, plus it has plates that are longer than most standard flat irons for easier, faster styling. Also well-designed, it protects and conditions the hair while it smooths, shines and defrizzes—all simultaneously. Shmedium can be used every day, including at the office or gym for touch-ups, and has universal voltage for series travel. The device features Tri-Plex Fusion (TPF) technology to revitalize and restore hair from the inside-out, as well as a unique ceramic complex for mega doses of negative ions to close and seal the cuticle. Plus, it has advanced Tourmaline infusion emitting 20 times more negative ions than traditional tools for a silky and shiny result. Also cause-conscious, a portion of the profits are donated to Art in Action—a non-profit organization benefitting children.
While there are many teeth whitening products out there on the vast marketplace, items from bright on from SmileDirectClub is uniquely different because it is professional grade quality for a fraction of the cost, starting under $30. There are two different variations within this new whitening line: whitening pens, and the whitening pens paired with an LED accelerator light. The bright on pen has reportedly been proven to work faster than the leading whitening strips and is formulated with the same enamel-safe whitening agent used by dentists. The LED accelerator light can add a boost to your treatment, helping you get your brightest smile in a shorter amount of time. Prices range from $29-$49 for whitening pens, $49 for the LED accelerator light, and just $79 for the full whitening kit. The entire process makes it even easier for people to feel confident in their smiles, without breaking the bank. Bright on also highlights SmileDirectClub’s larger mission to increase access to orthodontic care, because it gives people the ability to own their smile and feel confident throughout life’s most memorable moments.
10. Quell Neurotech Chronic Pain Reliever (www.QuellRelief.com)
For those that suffer through life in constant discomfort, Quell is a 100% drug-free wearable device for a wide range of chronic pain conditions, using prescription-strength nerve stimulation technology to help soothe your struggle. Quell’s powerful, patented neurotechnology sends neural pulses to the brain, triggering your body’s natural pain blockers to relieve chronic pain in the feet, legs and low back. And since everyone’s pain is unique, the Quell Relief app makes it easy to personalize therapy to your needs. After you calibrate Quell, you can start and stop therapy, adjust intensity, and track activity, sleep and pain from the app. Quell is the only over-the-counter electrical nerve stimulation device that is FDA cleared for both day and night use (24/7), so you can experience pain relief while you’re active or asleep. In a published study, 81 percent of Quell users reported improvement in their chronic pain after 60 days of use. Nerve stimulation, such as Quell, can reportedly have widespread effects that provide pain relief beyond the site of stimulation providing even greater relief. Quell also comes with a 60-day money back guarantee!
11. Ellie Fashion-Tech Activewear Subscription Box (www.Ellie.com)
Ellie.com offers monthly activewear subscriptions allowing members to liven up their fitness routines with one of three featured outfits from top-quality activewear brands like Marika, Bally Total Fitness, Balance Collection and Zobha. Clothing that Ellie.com offers, like Marika Activewear specifically, integrates the latest in fashion technology and best raw materials to create apparel that looks as good as it feels. Through an extensive patent portfolio, clothing Ellie and Marika offers push the boundaries of innovation. This includes Elasta-Tight–comfortable, shape-enhancing fabrics that sculpt the body in all the right places; Dry-Wik–technologies that separate sweat from fabric, promoting quick evaporation; and Shape Tek–a power-mesh system with a superior stretch designed to create a natural and slimming appearance. Affordably-priced and effortlessly chic, Ellie’s subscription box pricing starts at just $40 per month for a quality and stylish 3 piece outfit, including a legging, sports bra and seasonal tops ranging from tanks, tees, hoodies and lightweight jackets. For an additional $10, select the 5-piece option and get two fun fitness accessories to compliment a pre-styled 3-piece outfit. If you can’t get enough of the Marika activewear gear, that particular brand is carried by over 10,000 leading retailers across America. Their fashionable & affordable lifestyle wardrobe includes timeless staples alongside strappy details, bold colors and trendy prints with all garments created with comfort and fit in mind.
12. Owl Cam Automobile Security Camera (www.Amazon.com)
Owl Cam is a first-of-its-kind device combining video security with an instant emergency response service to assist in the event of an automotive accident or other security or emergency situation. Owl Cam sits on your vehicle’s dashboard, capturing 24-hour footage with real time updates sent directly to your smartphone. Doubling as a travel buddy, Owl Cam also makes it easy to download and save high-definition photos and videos of the funny and meaningful moments or breathtaking views throughout your road trips. Features include dual-facing HD cameras, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, instant video access from anywhere from your smartphone, a 14-day video loop, voice capture and naming, anti-theft floodlights and also the assurance that your videos are 100% private: only you can see, share, or delete them.
13. iStorage diskAshur² Encrypted Hard Drive (www.Amazon.com)
iStorage’s range of ultra-secure PIN authenticated hardware encrypted HDD/SSD and USB drives are the perfect solution to keep data secure and protected. The diskAshur² is the ultimate encrypted hard drive for storing precious data, such as family photos and videos. Once you set your unique PIN code, everything it contains will be safe from prying eyes. They’re great for storing family and work documents without the fear of the data getting lost or stolen. iStorage, an award winning and trusted global leader of PIN authenticated, hardware encrypted portable data storage devices, launched this new line of diskAshur² solid state drives and its USB 3.1 the diskAshur² hard drive all featuring Enhanced Dual Generating Encryption (EDGE) technology, making them THE most secure data storage drives available on the market. EDGE™ Security employs built-in physical protection mechanisms designed to defend against external tamper, bypass laser attacks and fault injections. In short, without the PIN, there’s no way in! Plus with the HDD available in capacity options from 500GB to 5TB, there will be plenty of space for all the family’s needs. With software free set up and operation, the diskAshur² HDD is platform/device independent, so it works across all operating systems including all versions of MS Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Chrome, Thin Clients, Zero Clients and embedded systems. In fact, the drives will work on any device with a USB port.
14. Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven (www.SharpUSA.com)
The Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven is an extremely efficient option perfect for every-day use, allowing you to keep your big oven clean for special occasions. The combination of superheated steam and conventional, radiant heat in all cooking modes means that food will be crispy and browned on the outside, moist and delicious on the inside. Not to be mistaken with ta traditional steamer or steam oven, with superheated steam up to 485°F, in conjunction with conventional, radiant heat, proteins will brown and become crispy. Sugars will caramelize. And the results are amazing. You won’t need to preheat your oven before cooking or even defrost the food the night before. You can simply place food into the oven, set the desired cooking mode, temperature and time. With multiple cooking modes, this countertop oven provides endless cooking possibilities and will eliminate the need for multiple small countertop appliances. It can broil or grill, bake or reheat, cook pizzas, warm food, and also create 7 shades of toast. Its convenient front-loading water tank is easy-to-access, and easy-to-fill with regular tap or bottled water. It’s the perfect size and provides up to 60-minutes of cooking time before refilling. And, the hidden bake element is beneath a flat oven floor so clean-up is a breeze. This really sets this oven apart from most other countertop ovens. The included broiling pan and crisper tray gives you 2-tier-cooking and they are 40% larger than a standard, quarter-size sheet pan making it perfect for anything from making sheet pan dinners for the whole family, to hors d’oeuvres for party guests. If you are looking for more than just a toaster oven, this Sharp Superheated Steam Countertop Oven is the answer.
15. LG SIGNATURE Appliances (www.LG.com)
LG SIGNATURE is the premium product line from LG Electronics boasts a beautifully-designed line created with the user-experience in mind, all featuring the latest innovative technology. LG SIGNATURE’s OLED TV has a razor-thin profile making the TV appear to be levitating mid-air, while the image quality is unlike any other. This TV has already won over 45 prestigious awards! The exquisitely designed air purifier provides a visual experience with its innovative, transparent panel while ensuring the cleanest air quality. It features a semi-permanent filter system that can be washed and reused for up to 10 years. Finally, LG SIGNATURE’s state-of-the-art InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator is truly stunning. By simply knocking on the opaque compartment of the refrigerator, you’re able to peer inside even without having to open the door, allowing you to peek inside without letting cold air escape.. Knock twice on the tinted glass panel and it will illuminate—letting you quickly access your favorite foods & beverages while preventing cold air from escaping. The auto door open feature activates as you approach the refrigerator for hands-free access.
As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern is an internationally-regarded consumer product trends expert and hospitality industry voice of authority—a travel, dining, leisure and lifestyle expert who spotlights noteworthy marketplace innovations, change makers, movers and shakers. She reports on exemplary travel destinations and experiences, extraordinary events and newsworthy products and services across all categories. Reach her online at www.TheLuxeList.com, on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList and on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/LuxeListReviews.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided at no cost or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***