By Theresa Wallace, Carousel30

MAID is a one-of-a-kind conventional and microwave oven to be added to the ever-increasing list of smart appliances for your home. SectorQube promoted the prototype as a kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 and now has reached over $62k in backed donations. The smart appliance has some impressive features like voice recognition, a list of recipes with voice-automated step-by-step instructions. It also recognizes hand gestures in case your hands are dirty. The coolest capability is how the MAID can learn your eating habits. The oven will make food suggestions based on your set dietary needs – which can conveniently be linked to your smartwatch or phone. Read about this cool appliance on Mashable.

Amazon’s new Echo device is like taking Siri outside of the iPhone and making her 10x more conversational. Echo as an object alone is honestly a dull cylinder with no exciting aesthetic design. Ignore the design and focus on the what it can do. Echo owners just say the “wake up word” and ask anything from the weather to telling a joke. Amazon has admitted it is in early testing and is encouraging future owners to buy it for only 100 bucks. Is it worth trying out? Gizmodo offers other specs about the product in their article.

Apple and IBM are untied and working together – their first project, AppleCare for Enterprise. Companies that sign-up for this account will receive a personal liaison assigned to them and issues will be resolved within a hour. Apple also will replace up to 10% of the covered Apple products – this includes laptops, iPhones and iPads. The pricing is not listed for public viewing at this time but one can anticipate a new business focused app called “IBM MobileFirst” at the end of the year. Read more about the two tech companies plans at Gigaom.

Here’s one more Apple update: Microsoft Office has developed apps ready and compatible with iPhones for free. This includes Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Users can create documents and edit them for free on your smartphone, sync your Dropbox account and even create charts on Excel. If you have an iPhone chances are you also use Microsoft Office on your computer – download it here! See other functionalities on Zdnet.

Microsoft Band works with any smartphone and has multiple apps for users to customize. I counted 16 apps that can be used universally on any device, 2 other apps can be used only on Microsoft phones. Reviewers say the band is worth $200 but can be slightly uncomfortable. I personally think having the screen at the bottom of my wrist would make the screen prone to scratches and other damage. Oddly, there wasn’t a peep of its release – the market was surprised to see this new device available for purchase. See a review of this product on TechCrunch.

This post first appeared on Carousel30’s blog.

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