What’s new in home gadgets for 2017?
Inventors and designers unveiled their latest home goods last week at the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago.
Smart home tech continues to be a big trend this year, said Lisa Casey-Weiss, a lifestyle consultant for the International Housewares Association.
“This year we’ve added a smart home pavilion as an exhibition within the exhibition,” she said. “We’re recognizing that this is the wave of the future for housewares. It’s not technology for the sake of technology, but to make life easier and simpler for consumers.”
In 2017, smart home tech found its way into everything from coffee tables to trash cans (more on those later), but Casey-Weiss said there’s a push for consumers to unplug and relax.
“We’re also seeing the antithesis of the smart home in design,” she said. “It’s about creating a space in the home without technology like a reading nook, game room our outdoor space.”
Products like specialized pillows, aromatherapy diffusers and equipment for brewing herbal tea further encourage consumers to relax, decompress and unplug.
Herbal tea isn’t the only thing brewing. Casey-Weiss highlighted a number of alcohol-related home-brewing gadgets debuting at the show this year, ranging from a cocktail maker that mixes alcohol with premixed flavor pods to craft beer kits to the Alchema, which turns fruit into wine, mead or hard cider in a matter of hours.
“[Brewing] is a fun activity. It’s interactive, and there’s the convenience of not having to go out and buy,” she said.
This year’s trending colors are also on the subdued and relaxing side, Casey-Weiss said.
The Pantone color of the year — Greenery — was common throughout the show, as were calming shades of blue and gray.
“Green is associated with healthy living and sustainability,” Casey-Weiss said. “It’s very positive, and it’s not bold, but it’s uplifting.”
Not all the items featured on the show floor were designed for relaxation, however. Click ahead to see 10 of this year’s strangest home gadgets.