To be honest, there's probably nothing wrong with the space heater you already own, but in the grand tradition of Nest and Dyson, all household objects must now look beautiful. Case in point: Hot Art, a space heater disguised as a 24-by-40-inch painting. The heater, or painting, or whatever you want to call it, can be decked out with several hundred pre-selected pieces of art, though you can also use an image of your own, for an extra fee. While it might pass for a canvas from afar, up close you'll see it's a flat surface made of PET, similar to recyclable water bottles. Nothing wrong with that, per se; some people would happily hang posters and reproductions on their walls anyway, so it's not crucial that this thing look like an original.
Hot Art space heater
On the inside, it uses far-infrared technology to generate heat. It's effective, as I found in my in-person demo, though it never actually gets hot, as the product name would suggest -- no one's going to get burned if they accidentally back up into the painting. There is at least one potential flaw with this setup, though, and that's that the temperature is not adjustable; the heat's either on or it's off. Another downside -- and this isn't obvious from the press photos -- is that you need to plug the thing into an outlet. OK, maybe "downside" is the wrong word here; the space heater you already own probably uses AC power too. And hey, it might not be an issue at all if you place the thing outside, against a wall. The problem is, having a cord snaking out from the back of the painting ruins the disguise; it's obviously some sort of appliance, albeit a very pretty one. In the future, Hot Art's parent company BRZ Brands intends to sell a "permanent mount" version with the cord hidden behind the frame, but you won't be able to buy that through the company's Kickstarter campaign.
The cord issue aside, you should probably be wary of the price: It starts at $279, or $359 if you use a custom image. You can also choose a black cord as a $10 upgrade, as well as a black or white frame instead of the standard brushed aluminum (that's an extra $20). There might also be more size options later on, after the crowdfunding campaign ends. It's scheduled to ship in January, but you can also pay $499 (ouch) to have it arrive in time for the holidays. There's also a plain white version for $149 with a curved design that allows it to stand upright. As BRZ imagines it, you might stick it under a desk, but if you're going to hide it like that, why not just buy a regular space heater? Speaking of the sort, allow me to put things in perspective: The best-selling space heater on Amazon has a list price of $34 and is currently selling for $25 -- and you can even adjust the temperature. Just saying, folks.