Every month a range of new smart home technologies are released to help improve our lives. Companies are obsessed with the new fad of making everything and anything Wi-Fi connected or smart in one way or another.
While there's something to be said for robot vacuum cleaners, smart lighting and Wi-Fi connected speakers, there are plenty of products that we've seen over recent months that we have to ask why anyone thought they were a good idea.
Come with us as we journey through a world of smart technology that nobody needs or do they?
An underwater drone
While most people are taking to the skies with drones, PowerVision is going underwater. The company has created the PowerDolphin - an intelligent underwater drone that can capture 4K photos, help you find fish and even work in search and rescue roles too. On the face of it, the PowerDolphin is clever, capable and certainly interesting. If nothing else, it's certainly different!
- Roborock is giving away two fantastic H6 cordless vacuums and offering $50 off on any purchases (promo)
The automated toilet
Announced at CES 2019, this "intelligent" toilet not only features automatic opening and closing functionality, an automated flush system and a heated seat, but also combats smells with a built-in catalytic deodoriser.
We have to admit a toilet that essentially cleans itself is pretty neat, but is it worth the $12,800 asking price?
An Amazon Alexa connected toilet
Fully-automated, self-cleaning toilet not quite cutting the mustard? How about one with Amazon Alexa built right in? If having a microphone-equipped toilet doesn't seem a bit sinister to you, then you can take advantage of the easy bathroom access to thousands of Alexa skills
DNA testing kit for cats
DNA testing kits might be incredibly popular at the moment, but this is one you've probably not heard of. This feline genetics testing kit from Basepaws is designed to give you a genetic breakdown of your feline friend with all the usual data you'd expect.
Yes, you'll be able to find out your cat's lineage, health info and even get details about any potential diseases he/she may be prone too. Do you really need to know though?
A bread making robot
If you really love bread, then good news. This is the Breadbot - an insane machine that's able to bake as many as 10 loaves an hour. It's also capable of producing every type of bread you could want from classic white to whole wheat, sourdough and more besides.
Breadbot is being touted as "the mini bakery" and is more likely to appear in your local supermarket than be seen in domestic kitchens, but it's still something pretty special.
The automated laundry folder
Laundry is an utter chore and if you don't have a small army of child slaves to help get the job done, then there's good news in the form of the Foldimate laundry-folding machine.
This device is set to launch at the end of 2019 for around $980, so there's not too long to wait for the promise of laundry folding joy.
A smart mattress with infidelity detection
If you're worried about your other half being unfaithful while you're out of the house, then there's good news!
The Smarttress is a connected mattress with built-in "lover detection systems" that send alerts to your phone when your bed is being used in "suspicious" and inappropriate ways.
We're pretty sure if you have to go to these lengths to keep an eye on your partner then there might be bigger issues you need to address. Some of these smart gadgets are getting pretty creepy but this one is never going to result in a peaceful night's rest.
Vibrating connected jeans
Calm down, it's not what you think. These smart jeans (and shorts) are simply equipped with two-vibrating sensors on the belt and the ability to connect to your smartphone. Once paired, they then vibrate in varying intensities according to your needs and desires when you get an incoming notification.
Somehow this is meant to prevent the constant need to check your phone throughout the day, but we're pretty sure vibrating trousers would be equally as distracting.
Pollution detecting scarfs
Air pollution is serious business. We're ruining the atmosphere and climate change is a constant threat to the environment and the future of mankind. But at least in the meantime, you can always wear one of these masks to filter out some of the nasties and alert you to when the air quality is really terrible.
Fitness socks and an ankle bracelet
Textile sensors and a Bluetooth smart anklet provide the data straight to your phone, but we can't guarantee you won't feel like you're under house arrest.
Fitness trackers are extremely popular. People love feeling like they've achieved something in their daily lives, hitting fitness goals or competing with friends on who got the most steps. For those who feel like they're not getting enough data out of their feet, these fitness socks might be the answer.
They're probably the most expensive socks you've ever set your eye on. $199 for a pair probably means you won't see these in your Christmas stocking, but if you want more accurate tracking on your step counting then they might be the answer.
Gillette Heated Razor
Razor manufacturers have been adding new blades to their shavers for years, so it's about time we saw something new. How about this latest innovation from Gillette that includes a heating element to give you the feeling of a hot towel shave.
We actually like this idea, but won't get to try it out until Christmas 2019.
Smart connected tampons
The World's first smart connected tampon monitor allows you to check how full your tampon is as easily as you would check the weather.
A Bluetooth sensor connects to your phone and the accompanying companion tampons to send essential flow data to your device. They're perfectly safe to use and only a longer tail and the connected sensor make them different from standard tampons you'd buy in the shop.
Smart cameras for the home are remarkably helpful and a great way to keep your house secure and your family safe. We've got plenty to say about the value of good smart home cameras, but others are pretty questionable.
This fridge camera, for example, is really lazy - a wireless camera that allows you to see the contents of your fridge from anywhere. Yes, we can see the benefits of being able to check what you need when you're out shopping, but surely it's just as easy to open the door and have a peek before you leave.
This device also gamifies recycling by rewarding you with points for every item you scan. You can create shopping lists based on the items you've scanned to remind you to refill your fridge too.
We know how important recycling is to the environment and how much of a hassle it can be to work out what can be recycled and what can't. The answer is Eugène the smart scanner which allows you to scan a product's barcode and work out how to sort it with ease.
Smart home fragrance system
This smart home scent dispenser combines all the fun of home fragrancing with smart home technologies to allow you to monitor and control the smells in your home from your phone.
Aera is even compatible with Amazon Alexa, so you can control the smell of your home with your voice too. We're truly living in the future now!
If you've always worried that your bathroom is a bit too dumb, then the answer might be the Moen smart shower. This technology gives you the ability to turn your shower on and get it to the right temperature before you've even got out of bed in the morning. There might be a danger of this being a bit wasteful but it does allow for fancy things like setting timers for your showers, remotely controlling temperatures and getting notifications when the water is at your preferred warmth.
The ability to remotely control your shower might have other uses though, like controlling teenage children's water usage from afar.
Smart water bottle
Most of us don't drink enough water throughout the day. You know you're meant to stay hydrated but keeping track of how much you're drinking or remembering to top-up in the first place can be a bit of a chore.
In steps the Hidrate Spark - a smart water bottle that glows to remind you to drink, tracks how much you're knocking back and even syncs with your favourite fitness trackers.
Smart water pitcher
If you prefer your water filtered, then the Brita Infinity might be the answer. A water pitcher that not only tracks how much water you're drinking but also monitors its own filters and orders a new one from Amazon when it's nearly run out.
Now if only it had automated robot wheels and could fill itself up too you'd never have to go to the tap for a drink again.
The smart baby changing unit
If you're the sort of parent that constantly worries about your babies growth and whether they're putting on enough weight or keeping up with the appropriate growth percentile, then there's good news in the form of the Hatch Baby smart changing table.
An all-tracking, all singing and dancing machine, that weighs, measures and tracks every aspect of your babies life from feeding to weighing to growth, sleep and even nappy changing too. Share essential data with your health visitors or doctors or just show off your babies stats on Facebook. The Hatch Baby has it all.
The smart tea assistant
Us Brits love a spot of tea, so maybe this smart tea brewer isn't as mad as it first sounds. The 42tea smart tea assistant promises to help you brew the perfect cup of tea just the way you like it every time you fancy a cup.
With more than 1,500 varieties of tea on offer, it's important you get that brew just right if you want to enjoy the perfect cuppa'.
The video toothbrush
There are plenty of smart toothbrushes out there. Track your brushing, make sure your getting in enough strokes, even make a game out of brushing to encourage your kids to keep their teeth clean.
This smart toothbrush is pretty special though, a video toothbrush with a live feed of the inside of your mouth. The Prophix is designed to help you ensure you don't miss any spots and allows you to share problems easily with your dentist.
A smart floss dispenser
Are you flossing regularly? We've all been told by our dentist to floss more, but how many of us really do it? Flosstime is the world's first automated floss dispenser to help nag you into flossing every single day.
Stick the dispenser in an obvious place you can't miss and you can just tap for a perfect amount of floss every time you need it.
The smart wine bottle
If all these smart gadgets haven't already driven you to drink, perhaps this smart wine dispenser will. Simply slide your favourite bottle inside the dispenser and it tells you what food to pair it with and allows you to rate and review each tipple with a tap of the screen.
A subscription ensures fresh wine is regularly delivered to your door from a range of vineyards too. Sounds deliciously dangerous.
The smart tortilla maker
Fresh tortilla and flatbeds made easy in your kitchen. Much like your favourite coffee machine, this smart tortilla maker simply takes some pods with the perfect amount of ingredients and makes tortillas in seconds.
Fresh flatbread without all the hassle of baking.
Smart cookie oven
CHiP is a Wi-Fi connected smart cookie oven designed to help you bake cookies with minimal hassle and clean up. If you don't have enough sugar in your daily life, then CHiP may well be the answer.
This smart cookie oven boasts intelligence levels that track the temperature of your cookies and adjust accordingly to ensure they're baked perfectly every time. If you have a habit of burning your cookies, then this may be the oven of your dreams.
CHiP works with pre-packaged cookie ingredients and a smart app to help you track cooking time and temperatures with each cookie you bake. So cookie cooking is a breeze.
Intelligent convection oven
Pitched as the "World's only intelligent convection oven" this little box is packed full of technology to help improve your finesse in the kitchen. The highlight of this oven is the adaptive cooking presets that allow you to ensure your food is cooked to perfection every time.
Control your oven from your phone and tell it what you're cooking and you can cook everything just to your liking. An oven that updates itself over the internet and cooks a fantastic juicy chicken too, what more could you want?
A smart fork that helps you lose weight
People, in general, have an unhealthy habit of eating too quickly. In this fast-paced world where time is money and every second counts, we're all prone to eating quickly to get on with life.
Research has shown that eating quickly is one of the issues behind weight-gain and taking your time with meals is an effective way of managing your diet. This smart fork is designed to help track and monitor your eating habits and put the brakes on your face-stuffing.
The smart umbrella that notifies you of rain
You might ask why you'd need such a luxury when you can already get weather forecasts from your phone, TV or smart-connected speaker before you leave the house. Well, Oombrella does other things too - like notifying you if you've accidentally wandered off without it (leaving it at a restaurant for example) and sharing data with other smart umbrella users to make sure weather information is accurate and useful.
The humble umbrella is a wonderful device for keeping your hair dry and fighting off the misery of rain from your daily life. But remembering to take your umbrella with you or even knowing you're going to need it in the first place is far from an exact science. Fret no more because here comes Oombrella. A smart umbrella that actually notifies you when you're going to need it and ensures you never leave the house without it.
Have you ever wondered how many calories you’re burning during intercourse? How many thrusts? Speed of your thrusts? The duration of your sessions? No? Us neither, but if you're the sort of person that feels the need to track your performance on a worldwide leaderboard then these smart condoms might be the perfect product for you.
The interactive dog camera
No one likes leaving their dog alone at home, especially if they're the sort of pooch who's prone to destroying furniture when they get bored. The Frubo interactive camera might be the solution to this problem though.
You can communicate two-way with your dog from your phone, toss them a treat or even play a game of fetch while you're out of the house.
The world's first smart bin
This smart bin makes sure that even the simplest thing in life is Wi-Fi connected and hassle-free. With Bruno, you'll get notifications on your smartphone when the trash needs taking out, updates when you're low on bin bags and more.
Plus there's a built-in vacuum inlet at the bottom of the bin allowing you to sweep dust and dirt away without the hassle of dustpans and unnecessary bending.
Intelligent salt shaker
Standard salt shakers are so dull. Sure it'll season your food just fine, but can it entertain your guests or play a romantic tune while you wine and dine your partner? No? Well, SMALT can.
This smart salt dispenser features a built-in speaker, ambient mood lighting capabilities and smartphone or voice-activated salt dispensing. Alternatively, you can just turn the dial to season your food manually like a normal person.
The humble toaster just browns your bread and makes it warm, that's it. How boring. In the modern world, we expect more from our appliances. Toasteriod does so much more.
Now you can custom-print images on your toast, send messages to your loved ones or even get the day's weather forecast on your bread. Breakfast has never been so interesting.
Standard thermometers just tell your temperature. This smart thermometer does so much more including tracking temperatures on your smartphone, offering guidance on soothing symptoms, reminding you when to take your medication and keeping track of your families health details and more.
The connected mirror
If, when you wake up in the morning you feel like you're not getting enough information out of your mirror then the Griffin Connected Mirror might be the answer to your woes.
This smart mirror gives you not only a look at your face but a wealth of other essential data for your day ahead including time, weather and status updates from other connected devices around the home. We bet you never imagined connecting your phone to your bathroom mirror before now.
Smart toaster that pings your mirror
If the other smart toaster on this list didn't pique your interest or if you're wondering what notifications the Griffin Smart Mirror offers then here's your answer. This connected toaster not only sends notifications to your phone when it's done, but will let you know via your smart mirror too.
These smart toasters take the guesswork out of toasting by allowing you to set the bread type and toasting levels remotely from your phone. Is this the smart device you never knew you needed? Probably not.
The connected walking cane
Getting old sucks but when you can't trust your body to look after you anymore there's always technology to give you a helping hand. The Dring Smartcane is a connected walking cane that's intended to help the elderly regain their confidence by sending alerts if the cane detects a fall and by tracking how much they get about.
This data is meant to help caregivers ensure the user is as fit as healthy as they possibly can be.
The ultimate smart bed
The Sleep Number 360 smart bed is one the smartest beds in the entire world. This bed is packed full of technology to ensure you get the best night's sleep possible.
It uses biometric sleep tracking technology to monitor your sleeping patterns as well as a range of other trackers to monitor for snoring or discomfort and adjust sleeping positions accordingly. With built-in foot-warming technology and advanced alarm systems also it not only helps you sleep well, but wake up gently too.
The smart pet tracker
Kyon is a smart dog collar packed full of all sorts of sensors including a 9-axis accelerometer, altimeter, heat sensor, water sensor, GPS chip, GSM antenna and more allowing you to keep tabs on man’s best friend.
Beyond the usual tracking options you might expect, Kyon also promises via the heat and water sensors to warn you if your pooch gets too hot or falls into water. You can even use the ultrasound module to pacify other dogs before potential fights break out.
An underwater drone
Sure Quadcopters and aerial drones are fun, but what about something more submarine? The PowerRay underwater drone can dive as deep as 30 meters or 98 feet underwater and is, say its makers, designed to revolutionise freshwater, saltwater, or ice fishing for today's fishing fans.
A smart toothbrush with Artificial Intelligence
The robot uprising begins with a humble toothbrush, all it takes is a little Artificial Intelligence added to the wrong device. For now, this is just a smart toothbrush built to learn how you brush in order to tell you when you’re doing it wrong.
Virtual reality shoes
Virtual reality is all the rage at the moment and companies are constantly looking to improve our experience in the virtual world. Cerevo has taken the next step by introducing VR shoes to help you feel the VR world in your feet.
Previous demonstrations of these shoes in action included the feeling of walking over sand, snow and water in the virtual world. This tactile feedback is intended to improve your experience and make it even more believable.
These are the World's first auto-tightening, interactive, heating, and shock absorbing trainers. Like something out of Back to the Future, these trainers offering everything you could possibly want from futuristic footwear. Whether you're after heated toes, accurate step tracking or just auto-tightening laces, these smart shoes have it all and more besides.
We still can't get used to the idea of having to plug our shoes into a power outlet though.
This is Vessyl, a smart cup that helps you track your hydration needs. This is a smart water mug that doesn't just nag you to drink more water but also takes into account your personal needs based on your age, sex, weight, height, activity levels and more. It's also probably the most expensive cup you'll ever buy.
Inspired by a community of passionate gamers, in 2016 Razer created an April fool that purported to show a real-life product in the form of a Razer-branded toaster. This toaster would apparently burn the logo onto your bread and even supported RGB lighting with the classic Razer glow.
Disappointed it wasn't real, a group sprung up on Facebook called "Give us the Razer toaster" with a collection of passionate people tattooing themselves with various visions of the toaster. Finally, in April 2019, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan officially announced his intention to put together a team to make it a reality.
The hands-free breast pump
Willow is a hands-free breast pump device that claims to be "the first-ever, in-bra, wearable breast pump that doesn’t get between you and living life."
This smart breast pump includes an app that allows you to track milk volume, monitor pump time and sessions to maximise your milk output. As if that wasn't enough, it's also dishwasher friendly and a steal at $500.
The smart egg tray
This is a smart egg tray that monitors how many eggs you have left in the fridge and lets you know when they're nearing their expiration date. Yes, it's a smart-connected device that sends notifications to your phone. If you live in fear of running out of eggs, then this may well be the end to your woes.
Smart plant pot
If you're forever killing your favourite potted plants, then there's good news! Parrot Pot is a smart-connected plant pot that has a self-watering system and built-in sensors monitor your favourite household greenery. It tracks fertilizer, sunlight and temperature levels - keeping an eye on the soil and notifying you when the plant needs attention before it suffers an untimely demise.