The 10 strangest home gadgets of 2016

  • International Housewares Association

    It has already been a big year for oddball housewares.

    Do fruits and vegetables spoil too quickly in your refrigerator? Now there's a product for that. Do your kids' messy dresser drawers make you want to tear your hair out? A simple invention could solve the problem.

    At the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago this week, big brands and basement inventors introduced their latest products, offering solutions for struggles consumers face throughout the home.

    Organizers at this year's show saw continued growth in the number of "smart" Internet-connected devices, from a robot vacuum you can control from your phone while you're out of the house to a pet feeder that allows you to have a two-way video chat with Fido, said Lisa Casey-Weiss, a consumer lifestyle consultant with the International Housewares Association.

    Many companies are also offering gadgets tailored to the trend of tiny living, which has consumers downsizing their lives into smaller spaces, Casey-Weiss said. Items like washer/dryer combo units and KitchenAid's new Artisan Mini stand mixer are designed to take up less space.

    Among these practical solutions are some more out-there solutions for problems you didn't know you had -- like not being able to turn any liquid into caviar-like pearls.

    What's new (and weird) in the housewares industry? Click ahead for 10 of the strangest items featured at this year's show.

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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.