Tech Products: The Future is Now

Cool new gadgets and apps to improve both personal and professional spaces.

It seems the future truly is now. And as technology infiltrates every aspect of our lives, both personal and professional, a steady supply of gadgets and apps keeps clamoring for our attention. Here are a few products that have caught our eye:


Dubbed “a revolution in intercoms,” the ButterflyMX is the first cloud-based smartphone video intercom system for commercial real estate and multifamily residential properties. The state-of-the-art system provides two-way video communication at a fraction of the cost associated with legacy systems. The 14×14-inch gadget requires only three basic connections, is simple to install and maintain, and integrates easily with existing property management software. In-unit hardware is completely cut out of the process, replaced by tenant smartphones. Users can answer the door from anywhere in the world, and the ButterflyMX can interact with land lines and mobile phones. Property managers can use the building-wide messaging feature to leave messages for residents. The ButterflyMX also enhances security, with features such as the first database of door release events, containing a time/date-stamped image for every visitor entering through the system.

Aquaboy Pro II

Named Best in Show at the Best of IBS Awards during the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show in Orlando, the Aquaboy Pro II literally makes water out of thin air. Plug it into any 120-volt outlet, follow the “quick start” instructions and the appliance converts air into fresh, filtered drinking water in any environment, generating two to five gallons of purified water per day and eliminating the need for water coolers. The Atmospheric Water Solutions Inc. product draws in air through a HEPA filter and condenses water vapors into liquid form, neutralizes bacteria and microorganisms,  catches impurities bigger than 0.01 microns in diameter, then sends the water into hot and cool tanks.

Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Thermostat

Honeywell’s new Wi-Fi-connected thermostat uses geofencing technology to keep track of where its user is, allowing users to select home temperature remotely via smartphone or tablet and adapting to their lifestyle.


With furniture solutions company SBFI’s new FUSE data and power unit, work is as simple as the product motto “Power up. Log on. Join in.” FUSE allows users to power their laptops, charge their phones, connect to the network and link audio devices to their PC right on their desktop, eliminating tangled, unsightly cables and crawling under desks for power outlets. Featuring as many as 10 connection points, the product is highly customizable, with different color schemes, branding options and the ability to mix and match the ratio of specific outlets within the connector.

LiFi-X (Li-Fi technology)

Truly futuristic, Li-Fi refers to light-based communications technology that delivers high-speed bidirectional networked and mobile wireless communications similarly to Wi-Fi systems. But instead of traditional radio frequency signals, Li-Fi uses the visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to transmit information at very high speeds. With visible light not able to pass barriers such as walls, Li-Fi also brings a superior level of security compared to Wi-Fi. LiFi-X can also be safely deployed in environments that have radio frequency restrictions.


SBFI’s Axiom is the top-selling trade-floor arm in the world. A winner of the FIRA Ergonomic Excellence Award, the stackable, modular solution allows for clutter-free, sleek workspaces and blends seamlessly with similar products, such as the FUSE data and power unit. The Axiom can be attached to slatrails or worktop mono-beams. The worktop clamp fits any home or office desk, easily supports two widescreen monitors, and with an extension, can hold as many as four monitors on the same post.

Wemo Switch

The Belkin Wi-Fi-enabled Wemo Switch allows users to turn electronic devices off or on from anywhere in the world, giving users wireless control over lamps, TVs, fans, porch lights, heaters and much more through smartphones and tablets. It also allows the user to remotely schedule operation times for any devices connected through it, thus allowing for a bespoke home environment and energy saving. The switch comes in several forms, each designed for its specific use: Wemo Switch for plug-in devices, Wemo Light Switch, Wemo Netcam and Wemo Insight Switch for devices that need to be monitored for energy savings.

Lutron Quantum

Lutron’s Quantum lighting control and energy management system allows facility managers to control both natural and artificial light conditions within the built environment. Using automated shades, light dimmers, a vast array of sensors, LED drivers and digital ballasts—paired with its ever-evolving Quantum Vue software solutions—Quantum’s system provides building-wide control from a desktop, laptop or smartphone. Advanced system analytics allow facility managers to monitor occupancy and space utilization and make decisions regarding use and maintenance based on both live and historic occupancy data, increasing cost effectiveness. Pairing it with the Hyperion solar-adaptive shading system greatly increases comfort, productivity and energy savings.

Originally appearing in the March 2017 issue of CPE.