ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Innovations and More from the 2014 International Home + Housewares Show

Posted by Plish on March 20, 2014

Was at one of my favorite shows earlier this week, looking for new materials and products, innovative and whimsical products, basically things that catch my fancy. What follows are some pics and vids from the show.  I also had a chance to get some insights into innovation from world class chefs, watch for those videos over the next couple of days.

One trend that was clearly present at the show was the existence of robots.  They’re everywhere.  Companies are trying to make our lives easier by creating robots to do our work for us.  I particularly liked this Window cleaning robot, the Winbot from ECOVACS.  These folks really want to bring technology into, and onto, your homes.   The best way to predict the future is to make it. ECOVACS is making it.

Also check out the Grill Bot!

Along the same lines, apps are being paired with various products and appliances.  Mostly iPhone based, but there are Android versions and Windows is gaining ground as well.

Attaches your stove temperatures and times to your smartphone

Attaches your stove temperatures to your smartphone

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Apps that Talk to your scales

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Apps that talk to blood pressure cuffs

Another thing that I love to see are companies that are well known for certain product lines and they are innovating their business models, diversifying, and venturing into new areas.

Cleansui is a Mitsubishi company.  This water filter is essentially dialysis technology.

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RCA is going into the appliance market in South and Central America. Music to their ears, no doubt. (There were wonderful people in the booth, they cleared out so I could get the picture!)
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And Philips? I’m used to seeing them in the Healthcare setting. Here, they use technology to make an air fryer. I sampled the bacon wrapped dates and taquitos, and they weren’t greasy, and were delicious.

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Koehler, of faucet fame, is going nationwide with high end (and amazingly good!) gourmet chocolates.  They served them at the resort, now they’re letting everyone enjoy them.  What a great gift for a housewarming or room redecoration (and what a great business move)!

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Innovations are often made possible  by new materials and processing methods.

This amazing technology from oneplot.com creates photographic images by using holes of various sizes and spacings.

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These materials, that look like they’re embroidered, are actually printed onto a material using thermoplastic elastomers.

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This spoon is made from scrap aluminum from war and non-war aluminum in Laos.  It’s helping to build the economy.

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Compostable, starch-based, elastomeric materials.

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And here’s a simple extruded material that can be used for helmets and the like.  Light and strong, all day long!

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Really dig this scanner/cutter from Brother.  It can scan an image and then use that image to create cutouts. It can cut up to 2mm thick sheet.  Impressive!

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There’s plenty of whimsy and coolness. It doesn’t have to be high technology, it just has to create an impactful experience (preferably in a good way).

Interestingly enough, while there is always an eco-consciousness at this show, and there were some notable products, I was surprised that there wasn’t more, actually.  Or maybe, it’s just ubiquitous now and not as obvious…

 

Last but not least, if you’d like to see what colors are hot this year, Pantone always has a nice display.  You can check out my pics here.

Stay tuned for some thoughts on innovation from some world class chefs!

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