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IT & Systems Management

Smartphone gadgets lets you control Crock-Pot, check for sunburn

Ever wanted to control your Crock-Pot with a phone?

Tech vendors at the International CES show in Las Vegas are showing off such concepts with new peripherals that'll tap into user smartphones to power them.

On Sunday, hardware accessory maker Belkin unveiled a slow cooker that can be controlled remotely with a mobile app.

Belkin partnered with slow cooker maker Crock-Pot to create the device, which will go on sale in the U.S. this March or April. The slow cooker can connect over Wi-Fi or over a 3G/4G network, and is controlled through an app that can be installed on a smartphone.

"With this Crock-Pot, it's just set it and forget it," said Leah Polk, a Belkin spokeswoman. Through the app, users can remotely turn off the cooker, set a timer for how long it cooks, or adjust its temperature.

Belkin intends it to be the first of many household items that can be remotely controlled via phone. Others products could include air purifiers, said Polk, who added that it was the first time Belkin had partnered with a company to create a device.

The product will be priced at US$99.

On Sunday, accessory maker Netatmo also showed off its smartphone peripheral, a bracelet that can track the amount of sun exposure its wearer receives.

Called June, the product is designed for women, and measures ultraviolet radiation through a sensor built into a jewel on the bracelet. Data from the bracelet is then displayed through a smartphone app, said Raphaelle Raymond, a product manager for the company.

By tracking sun exposure, users can prevent sunburn and keep their skin healthy, Raymond said. The smartphone app will suggest the level of sunscreen users need to protect their skin, and forecast the amount of sunlight for the next day.

In addition to being a sensor, the bracelet was designed to be a fashion accessory. It will go on sale in this year's second quarter for $99.

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