I’ve left Chicago, met up with my kids in Florida, and we’re all now enjoying a little fun in NYC with the kids before school starts again. While I’m bouncing around, I couldn’t wait to share the highlights of my trip to the International Housewares Show.
It’s a massive exposition for brands to show off their wares to thousands of worldwide retailers roaming the floor. I saw Amazon, Crate and Barrel and Williams-Sonoma reps creeping around, looking for the next big thing, and the excitement was palpable everywhere you went. Every corner of Chicago’s McCormick Place is full of closet organizers, pots and pans, food processors, toasters, flatware, and more.
I worked with the IHHS team and my pal Michael Wolf all year to help them build the Smart Home Pavilion, a curated collection of connected devices that showcased what’s happening and what’s to come in the future of housewares and connected homes. The group of products we collected were fantastic (if I do say so myself). The complete list is here, but below are some highlights:
Somabar, a cocktail mixing robot that will dispense a perfect Manhattan or Moscow Mule every time…
Plott’s Cubit, a you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it digital measuring tape that helps you plan real projects in a digital space, without doing any math…
GeniCan, a gadget you clip to your garbage can that scans things to your shopping list as you toss them…
Anova, makers of smart kitchen gadgetry like Sous Vide tools and an upcoming Smart Combi oven….
I did some press while I was in town— here I am palling around with Jake from Fox Chicago in front of a Vacuvita— a genius food storage system that doubles as a vacuum sealing system.
And here I am talking about SproutsIO on NBC, a hydroponic-style device that makes it’s easy to grow your own groceries right from your kitchen counter. I had to get up early for that one, hence the day-before blow-out. No one recognized me!
Then Michael Wolf moderated a panel, where we talked about how Smart is Disrupting Housewares (and what to do about it). My straight hair and I chatted with Chris Young of Chef Steps, makers of Joule, my sous vide tool of choice these days, and Nate from Wink, which is solving a HEWGE problem for all of us with their Wink Hub 2 by making it easy to operate all our disparate smart stuff from one app.
A couple days later, I was back to curly hair, and did my lecture on The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Connected Things. There’s only an audio file, no video, which is a shame because I make a mean slideshow. 🙂
And lastly but not at all leastly, the show floor. Which is massive! I tried valliantly to see all of it, but it was tough. Below are some of my favorite finds, high and low tech:
Head over HEELS for Aarke’s new water carbonator. WAY more chic than my SodaStream!
Mill Heat always blows me away with their beautiful and understated room heaters (#pun), wall-mounted and freestanding. Some new ones are connected this year.
I wish Ellie Sanitizer had been around when I had babies. In the 60 seconds it will sanitize baby bottles, pacifiers, even Sophie the giraffe and get rid of 99.9% bacteria, germs and other yuck.
There were essential oil diffusers all over the place at the show. Love this ceramic and bamboo one from Pursonic.
This Staub Oval Cocotte in matte black is not at all techie but ITS SO PRETTY and it’s practically begging to be filled with a roast chicken.
You can use Alexa to talk to the Gourmia’s Smart Tea Brewer and have your tea brewed while you entertain friends (or lounge in bed).
And Gourmia’s electric spiralizer might help me upgrade my zoodle game.
I’m feeling like a milk frother is my next kitchen gadget conquest, since I’m drinking lots of almond tumeric and matcha Lattes these days. I spied this Frieling Frother on Food52 and now it’s all I can think about.
Smeg always has the happiest pastel rainbow of appliances…
Rivaled only by Kitchen-Aid’s Stand Mixer mountain!
Any favorites in this housewares lineup? Anything I didn’t mention that you’d wanna know about? Let me know in the comments!