Las Vegas was host to the third annual Design & Construction Week, and we were there to scout out the most exciting products to hit the market, on view at NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS).
1 Winbag by Red Horse USA
The IBS Best In Show and Most Innovative Building Product prizes both went to this new craftsman tool, a tiny pillow that the brand describes as looking a lot like a blood pressure measuring gadget. Winbag is an inflatable and extremely versatile shim that can be squeezed between window frames, door frames, virtually any gap that needs a cushiony sandwich to firmly hold things in place. The fibre-reinforced sack can withstand up to 220 pounds of pressure – enough to lift a fridge off the ground.
2 Steam generators by Kohler
Kohler tempted weary visitors with its Invigoration Series of steam generators for showers. It also offered a prime example of the main theme found at most booths: the promotion of wellness in the home environment. Kohler’s steamer is a sleek digital control disc that users tap and turn to adjust temperature and steam settings. It also works quickly, filling the shower stall with steam in less than a minute.
3 Signature Kitchen by LG
At KBIS, contemporary built-in appliances were on full display at Signature Style House, an exhibition where chef Lo Bosworth, stylist June Ambrose and artist Donald Robertson each created their own kitchens amid such state-of-the-art appliances as a smart fridge and a Wi-Fi connected dishwasher. Robertson’s on-site painting project garnered a curious crowd all day long.
4 WallDrain by Quick Drain
This system installs on any material and sits flush against the wall, creating a seamless shower aesthetic. More important, the sloped trough removes 100 per cent of used water after each shower, eliminating standing water and keeping the space bacteria-free.
5 Aquatunes by Grohe
Among the myriad multi-sensory bath innovations on offer at KBIS, Grohe presented the Aquatunes Bluetooth speaker, developed with Philips. The unit mounts easily to shower rails and is removeable for dock charging.
6 iTouchFaucets by SmartFaucet
The NGHTV “Net Zero” Home showcased an array of innovations, including this buzz-worthy product, an electronic touchpad that can be installed on any faucet or shower system and could potentially replace existing faucet handles in the future. Four pre-set temperatures are available at the touch of a finger, and will automatically shut off after three seconds to reduce water use by up to 90 per cent.
7 Noke Smart Padlock by Füz Design
“Know who, when and where your lock was used,” write the designers of this Bluetooth-operated lock that began as a US$100,000 Kickstarter in 2014, and ended up raising over $650,000. Now on the market, Noke Smart Padlock connects to an app that opens it at the touch of the shackle. It can provide or revoke access to others and it keeps track of its location via GPS.
8 Halo+ by Halo Smart Labs
Home connectivity was a major theme this year at IBS, and Halo Smart Labs got its share of attention as winner of the Best Indoor Living Product. Halo+ is being touted as the first smoke alarm to detect flash fires, smoldering fires, carbon monoxide and more. After raising over US$75,000 on Indigogo last year, the brand is putting the detector on the market with six sensors and intelligent software that reads the surrounding weather and informs owners of fires, even if they’re taking place kilometres away.