Questioning the connection: Ridiculous awards for the wackiest smart home devices

From slow cookers to doorbells, people love products that connect to the internet. According to Statista, the average person has 6.58 connected devices. That’s over two dozen connected devices in a four-person household. And manufacturers are taking note. It seems like a growing number of products are built with a way to connect to the internet or alert you with a smartphone app.

What does IoT mean? IoT stands for the “internet of things” — i.e. any product or device that uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to collect, communicate and store data.

But are these devices useful or gimmicky? With the amount of Internet of Things (IoT) devices released every year, we decided to take a look at some of the most silly and downright ridiculous IoT devices to hit the market. Take a look at our top three ridiculous IoT items. 

Best for soup season: the slurp-concealing smart fork

Although this one is still a prototype, this unusual idea has definitely made it past the drawing-board stage. Imagine a fork with a handle similar to that of an electric toothbrush. Its only purpose? To disguise slurping sounds you make when eating noodles. 

Though slurping may be dubious table manners in Western cultures, it is a polite sign that a person is enjoying their meal in many Asian countries. This fork sends a notice to your smartphone that recognizes when a slurping sound is made, and covers it up with a nondescript white-noise. . . which sounds eerily reminiscent of a slurp. 

And this isn’t even the only smart fork on the market – you can also pony up $100 for a smart fork to tell you when you’re eating too fast. Don’t forget the companion smart knife to round out your set.  

Best for extreme emoting: the smart LED T-shirt

In our crazy social-media-loving world, what could be better than a mashup between an everyday wearable and a communication device? No, it’s not another smartwatch

This otherwise everyday T-shirt, manufactured by Ballantine Corp., lets you wear your emotions on your tee. Using your smartphone and the nearest Wi-Fi signal, you can use the LED screen built into the front of the shirt to display tweets, your ‘gram or any other message you need to show the world. 

But buyer beware — something tells me this may be dry-clean only. 

Best for living that ‘salt life’: the Smalt salt shaker

Can it grind salt? No. Can it refill itself? Also, no. But it can put salt on your food. 

Kitchen items tend to lend themselves to becoming needlessly smart. Just check Amazon to find smart kettles, smart blenders and even a smart meat thermometer. However, the Smalt outdoes all of those to come through as the world’s first (and only) smart salt shaker. By keeping tabs on the salt you use, the Smalt may help contribute to a healthier, less salty you. 

Maybe the Smalt designers knew their device was a bit shaky, pun intended, so they made it into a multi-tasking Bluetooth speaker with an ambient lighting feature as well. 

While it can be fun to indulge in some non-essential IoT devices, don’t forget that the smart devices in your home come with an increased potential security risk. 

Know of any other IoT devices you think should be on this list? Let us know at our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Bookmark the Resource Center for more tech articles every week.