In times of plenty, manufacturers always have news. When launches are a little thinner on the ground, concepts make the perfect exhibition fodder.
Such was the case with the Home of the Future at this year's Grand Designs Live exhibition, where Samsung and Electrolux took the opportunity to introduce some of the exciting, as well as downright bizarre, products they've currently got people working on.
The first is the frighteningly Nanny-like toilet. It uses the water you use to wash your hands as the water to flush the toilet, the theory behind it being that you'll have to wash your hands if you want to activate the flush. No word on the fact that you might want to wash your hands after you flush the toilet, rather than before...
Next up the Electronic Tongue. Dropping a few morsels of food or liquid on the panel activates the analysis, which then displays the constituents parts and ingredients of the meal. Although useful for those shop-bought meals with dubious ingredients lists, it's acknowledged that this kind of technology is a fair way in the future yet.
The iBasket looks like a translucent washing basket, and indeed it is. Yet as a concept, it can claim to be so much more! This product, developed by Electrolux, will monitor the level of dirty laundry within it, and once full, will wash the lot, using no water at all.
Finally the Steam Cocoon brings concepts slightly closer to reality. Step into this cocoon and you'll not only be treated to a steam treatment, but it will ply you with aromatherapy, as well as a soothing light display.
Are these destined for your house in the next 18 months? Probably not. But it's always fun to get a glimpse into that Jetsonesque future.