With CES recently wrapping up in Las Vegas, new tech—specifically smart home tech—is on everyone’s mind. According to one Coldwell Banker survey, around 45% of Americans either owned or planned to own some type of smart home technology by the end of 2016. With so much consumer interest, it’s no surprise that the market is growing larger every year.

Whether you want to time your morning coffee to be ready as soon as you wake up or simply make your home safer, there’s something for everyone in this exciting new industry. If you’re still not sure there’s a gadget out there for you, here are four strange yet useful ways tech has made it into the home.

Connected Vacuum Cleaners

While robotic vacuums aren’t new, smart robotic vacuums only recently made their debut. The Mi Robot Vacuum by Xiaomi, for instance, has twelve sensors that allow it to scan your home effortlessly and calculate the most efficient route for sucking up dirt. The Mi Home app lets you control the Mi Robot remotely, adjust the bot’s cleaning mode, and schedule when it vacuums. Unlike most of us when doing chores, the Mi Robot can also run for up to two and a half hours, making it an impressive option for busy, tech-loving homeowners.


Wi-Fi Kettles

If you can’t function in the morning without a strong cup of coffee, 2017 is a great time to be alive. Smart kettles, like the Smarter iKettle 2.0, allow you to remotely boil your kettle from anywhere in your home, so you won’t have to get out of bed any earlier than you absolutely have to. The accompanying mobile app can tell you how much water is in your kettle and notify you when the water reaches the temperature you want.



Smart Refrigerators

The days of constantly checking the fridge to see if there’s anything worth eating in there may soon be over, thanks to the invention of smart refrigerators. Samsung’s Family Hub smart fridge has built-in cameras, so you can see what is (or isn’t) inside without opening the door and wasting energy. You can also order groceries from a touch screen on its door, look up recipes, and sync it with your smartphone’s calendar. And if you like dancing while you cook, this fridge also lets you stream music right from its interface.


Self-Watering Plant Pots

Plants can improve the atmosphere of a home and help improve air quality, too. Unfortunately, they require dedication to keep alive, and most of us have killed more than a few houseplants in our time. Enter the Parrot Pot, an auto-watering smart plant pot that uses built-in sensors to keep your plants well-fed and healthy. It can hold up to a month’s worth of water for your plants, so it’s great if you go on vacation a lot or have to travel regularly for work. And, for every Parrot Pot bought, the company will plant one tree as part of its environmental restoration efforts.


The possibilities with smart home technology are almost endless, so stay updated on new gadgets hitting the market. You may not want to make every aspect of your home life “smart,” but there are lots of ways you can use smart gadgets to save time, increase home security, and make life a little easier.

~ Jonathan Deesing