Last week, more than 150,000 tech-hungry shoppers flocked to Las Vegas for the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. The annual event draws some of the world’s biggest tech companies, as well as start-ups hoping to wow consumers (and generate buzz) with their innovative new products.
Along with new smartphone technology and super high-definition televisions, many of the headline-grabbing devices were designed with everyday living in mind. From smart fridges to forks that help you lose weight, here are 10 gadgets destined to bring your household into the 21st century. (Note, some items are not yet commercially available).
8. HAPIfork: Usually, utensils are supposed to aid in the consumption of food. The HAPIfork by Hapilabs does this only to a point. In addition to tracking your “fork servings” and how fast you eat, the HAPIfork vibrates and lights up when you eat food too quickly. The HAPIfork also comes equipped with a USB drive and software to track your eating habits. (hapilabs.com)
7. WeMo Switch: For the cautious, careless (or simply neurotic) traveler, Belkin’s WeMo Switch allows you to monitor and control electronic devices from your iPhone and other electronic devices. Combine with the WeMo Motion to automatically turn on devices whenever you enter a room. As an added bonus, you can freak out the person who waters your plants by having your blender go off, Poltergeist-style, when he stops by. ($49.99 WeMo Switch, $99.99 WeMo Switch and Motion, belkin.com)
6. Moxie showerhead: Singing in the bathtub has never been easier thanks to Kohler’s Bluetooth-enabled shower head with waterproof speaker and “60 angled nozzles for a full water spray.” Not recommended for people who already spend too much time in the bathroom. ($199, us.kohler.com)
5. iPotty: Yes, this is a real thing. CTA Digital, maker of iPad and Kindle accessories, has developed a training potty complete with iPad holster, allowing your tot to play games or watch cartoons while using the bathroom. How did we ever potty train without it? ($40, ctadigital.com)
4. Flower Power plant monitor: Until the day we genetically engineer talking plants, you’ll have to rely on French electronic company Parrot’s new gadget to tell you what your azaleas are thinking. The Y-shaped Flower Power sensor monitors moisture, sunlight, humidity, temperature and fertilizer conditions via your smartphone. It also comes with an electronic database of best care tips for more than 6,000 plant species. (parrot.com)
3. Compact4All Appliances: Like LEGO blocks for the kitchen, these four cube-shaped home appliances by Princess (kettle, toaster, coffee maker and juicer) can be stacked and plugged into a single electrical outlet. ($52 each, princess.nl)
2. Famibot: It’s a Roomba… I mean, a home service robot, that patrols your home, purifying the air, guarding against intruders and communicating with family members. So really, there’s no reason for you to come home anymore. (ecovacs.com)
1. T9000 Refrigerator: Not to be mistaken with the T-1000 android from Terminator, the T9000 is part of a new line of “smart” appliances conceived by Samsung. The stainless-steel, 32-cubic-foot combination fridge/freeszr comes equipped with a 10-inch display screen and plenty of culinary-themed apps, like Epicurious, which provides recipe ideas based on the items you have in your fridge. ($4,000, samsung.com)