Around the House is a weekly roundup of news items related to smart devices, tools, kitchen gadgets and anything else worth mentioning that affects how we live at home.
Roku now has a streaming device for every budget
Roku announced five new streaming devices last week, including the tiny Roku Express, which only costs $39.99, comes with an HDMI cable and can stream 1080p high-def content. For people who want to stream 4K content, the company has the Roku Premiere ($89.99), Roku Premiere+ ($109.99) and Roku Ultra ($139.99) for you (the Roku Premiere+ and Roku Ultra also have HDR support, a microSD card slot and a remote you can plug headphones into). All new Roku devices will be available in Canada this October.
Streaming service shomi closing down
The Rogers-Shaw owned video streaming service shomi issued a statement Monday announcing they will be closing down on Nov. 30. This is sad news for fans of shows like Transparent, Catastrophe and Mad Dogs, which don’t air or stream anywhere else in Canada. Rumours are swirling that Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service is coming, but nothing has been confirmed (Amazon distributes all those shows, along with many others).
Sonos coming to an Apple Store near you
Canadians will be able to purchase Sonos PLAY:1 and Sonos PLAY:5 wireless speakers at all Apple Store locations beginning Oct. 5 (online sales on apple.ca begin Nov. 2). As a bonus, customers who purchase a Sonos speaker from the Apple Store until Dec. 31 will get a 3-month subscription to Apple Music for free. Read my review of the Sonos PLAY:5 to see why I’m excited about this news.
Tesla update helps prevent children and pets from horrific deaths
Tesla pushed a software update to all Model S and Model X owners last week that includes, among other things, a feature called Cabin Overheat Protection, which turns on the vehicle’s air conditioning if the internal temperature reaches 40C. While this is great at preventing “hot car deaths“, people really just need to stop leaving children and pets alone in cars.
Never clean your toilet again
A toilet that cleans itself is now a reality thanks to American Standard. The ActiClean self-cleaning toilet has a fully integrated cleaning system that handles all the dirty work with the push of a button. Not having to clean your toilet is not cheap of course and the ActiClean toilet comes with a hefty price tag of $695US with replacement cleaning cartridges running at $14.99US. It’s currently only available at Lowe’s in the U.S. but is sure to make its way to Canada soon.