IKEA's smart table in Concept Kitchen 2025

For IKEA, your future kitchen shouldn't just have the occasional smart appliance -- it should be a technology hub. The furniture store's Concept Kitchen 2025 includes tech and other helpful additions meant to save both time and resources, such as a pantry with induction cooling (to preserve food longer) and a disposal system that automatically packs your recyclables. The highlight, however, is the Table For Living. It packs a camera-equipped projector that both shows recipes on its surface and recognizes ingredients, giving you an idea of what to make with what you have on hand. There's an induction cooktop hidden in the table, too, so you wouldn't have to run between counters to get that hot stew ready. This is just a vision rather than something you can actually buy, but all of IKEA's technology is realistic enough that you could find some of it in your home within the next decade.

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'High Maintenance'

If there was any doubt that conventional TV and the internet are blending together, HBO just erased it. The premium channel has picked up the third season of High Maintenance, the pot-fueled show (yes, the 4/20 announcement is convenient) that became Vimeo's first original On Demand series. You'll only see six new episodes in this production, but all of the existing 19 episodes will be available through HBO sometime later this year. Is Vimeo heartbroken? Not at all, if you ask CEO Kerry Trainor -- it'll continue to support the show, and this is an "incredible validation" that proves internet shows can hit the big time. There's no mention of when the new season will air, but it's clear that you'll have more options for chronic-loving TV in the near future than reruns of Bored to Death and Showtime's Weeds.

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Toshiba's Aiko Chihira greeter robot

If you happen to be shopping in Japan sometime soon, don't be surprised if the first offer of help comes from a machine. Toshiba has just installed Aiko Chihira, a humanoid greeter robot, at Tokyo's Mitsukoshi department store. The kimono-clad automaton will guide you around the shop while it blinks and smiles -- at once helpful and, as you can see above, a little creepy. It can't respond to questions yet (don't yell at it over a faulty product), but it's capable of handling both spoken and signed languages. No, Aiko isn't as interactive or relentlessly adorable as SoftBank's Pepper, but it'll be a big time-saver if it prevents you from getting lost in the aisles.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi]

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BB-8, the new adorable droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has taken the world by storm over the past few days. In particular, people were mostly surprised by the fact that the character was not computer-generated imagery -- this thing is, indeed, real. Now, following earlier reports, Sphero, a company that makes robotic toys for entertainment and educational purposes, is confirming that its technology is behind Disney's now-famed BB-8 droid ball. And be ready, because there's a consumer version in the works. Sphero says it is teaming up with Disney to "deliver an incredible and authentic BB-8 experience." Further details (like pricing or availability) are slim at the moment, but Sphero did set up a landing page for people who want to stay updated on the project.

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Push notifications on Chrome for Android

Chrome's website push notifications are no longer confined to your desktop -- they now surface on your phone, too. Grab Chrome 42 for Android and you can opt into alerts from websites that show up no matter what you're doing. You won't have to worry about missing out on breaking news, even if your favorite sites don't have dedicated apps. You'll also have an easier time adding home screen shortcuts for those sites if you always want them close at hand. It'll be a while before many of the sites you frequent can deliver notifications (eBay, Facebook and Pinterest are some of the early adopters), but it's worth upgrading now to get ready.

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I immediately fell in love with the original Pax vaporizer when it debuted back in 2012. Its compact and lightweight construction belied a powerful three-stage conduction oven, while the sleek, push-button design made it far more intuitive and user-friendly than other portable vaporizers available at the time. Granted, the OG Pax wasn't perfect -- what with its habit of clogging every few sessions or so. Now, more than two years after the release of the first Pax, PAX Labs is back with a new iteration that's smaller, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor. Say hello to the Pax 2.

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"China is the number one market with connected products."

That was how Intel's Senior Vice President Kirk Skaugen kicked off his keynote at IDF in Shenzhen, citing China's staggering 30 percent share of worldwide connected-device purchases in 2014. The country gobbled up 40 percent of the 46 million Intel-powered tablets shipped globally. Not bad, but 46 million is hardly anything compared to the 420.7 million smartphones shipped in China alone in the same year -- only a tiny percentage of which packed an Intel chip. Most others relied on Qualcomm, MediaTek and Samsung. Intel's smartphone market share is so small that it never dared to share the stats; it could be as low as 2.81 percent in the Android space, according to benchmark specialist AnTuTu.

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This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy. Read the full article below at TheWirecutter.com.

After testing ten portable vaporizers so far, we recommend the Crafty, a new portable model from Storz and Bickel. Out of all the models we tested, the Crafty was one of the few that could produce the kind of truly tasty, powerful vapor you get from a much bigger unit. At $400, it's an investment, but will make up its cost over time because it vaporizes cannabis more efficiently than its peers. The Crafty heats the herb at the optimal pre-combustion level and keeps temperature constant for the duration of a session, while its cooling unit and swiveling straw keep potent draws comfortable and tasty. As a result, it delivers cleaner, purer, better-tasting vape, and higher highs than the competition.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab A

After the better part of a year, Samsung is ready to launch new tablets in the States -- if not quite the high-end models you might be looking for. It's releasing 8- and 9.7-inch versions of the Galaxy Tab A, a low-cost slate whose centerpiece is an iPad-like 4:3 aspect ratio that gives you more breathing room when you're browsing the web or reading a book. Neither model is especially powerful between the 1.2GHz quad-core chip, 1,024 x 768 screen, 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front shooter, but they do carry Samsung's lighter-weight software loadout, including bundled Microsoft apps. You'll also get between 16GB to 32GB of storage, depending on the model. The Tab A will reach American shops on May 1st starting at $230 for the 8-inch model, and $300 for the 9.7-inch version. And don't worry, cost-conscious Galaxy Note fans, Samsung hasn't forgotten about you: a version with a bundled S Pen is due on May 17th for $350.

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Sony HT-ST9 sound bar

LG isn't the only tech giant rolling out Google Cast-friendly devices this month. Sony is launching two AV receivers (the STR-DN860 and STR-DN1060) and two sound bars (the HT-NT3 and the HT-ST9, above) that all take audio from Google Cast-capable mobile and web apps, so you won't have a problem sending music to your TV's speakers. Outside of the NT3, you'll also get alternatives like Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and (on the receivers) Apple's AirPlay.

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