Nowadays, it seems like companies are slapping a “smart” label on as many products as possible. It’s a term that sells, so it makes sense. But not every single item in the world needs to have smart functionality to be a great product or better than its competitors.
That said, some of the items here are bound to be useful to someone. A person who golfs for a living could really benefit from smart insoles, and a kid learning the value of saving money could get some use out of a smart piggy bank. But for most people? The items on this list are a little… pointless.
Never Misplace One Again: Kisha Smart Umbrella
Keep An Accurate Count: Quirky Egg Minder
Charge Your Phone Any Time: Belty Power Belt
For Hydration Reminders: Hidrate Spark Smart Water Bottle
Make Sure You're Brushing Correctly: Oral-B Pro 5000 Smart Toothbrush
Beef Up Your Porkfolio: Smart Piggy Bank
A Kitchen Helper: Toshiba Smart Microwave
Improve Your Golf Game: Salted Smart Insoles
Boil Your Water From Afar: Govee Smart Kettle
No Need to Get Off the Couch: ConnectSense Router Rebooter
Umbrellas are easy to lose. After all, most are relatively affordable, and when they’re wet, people often leave them at the front door of a restaurant, retail store, friend’s house, and so on. If it’s not raining when you leave, it’s easy to forget to grab your umbrella on the way out.
If you don’t want to continuously replace your forgotten umbrella, you could shell out over $100 for a smart umbrella from Kisha. With Kisha’s mobile app (Android/iOS) and built-in Bluetooth, you’ll get a notification if you get too far from the umbrella or be able to see its last location in an instant. Or, you could just keep replacing your lost umbrella on the rare occasions you accidentally leave it behind.
Kisha Smart Umbrella
If you leave Kisha’s umbrella somewhere, you can always find it through the app. So this is probably the last umbrella you’d ever buy.
Imagine this. You go to the grocery store, forget your list, and think, “Darn. Do I need eggs? I wish there was a way I could see exactly how many eggs I have at home.” Well, in the rare instance that this has ever happened to you, Quirky has the perfect product for you.
The Egg Minder is the go-to device for all the stats on the eggs in your fridge. Or, at least the 14 that’ll fit inside at once. There are LED lights on the tray that show which egg is the oldest, based on the order you placed them inside. Then, the mobile app (Android/iOS) sends push notifications when an egg goes bad—or is about to go bad—and when your total egg count is low. Assuming Wink doesn’t die again, that is.
Quirky Egg Minder
If you need to keep track of the number of eggs in your fridge, Quirky's Egg Minder is the perfect product for you.
This is no ordinary belt. With a Belty Power Belt, you can look stylish and charge your phone at the same time. Well, you might not look stylish while your phone is plugged into your belt buckle, but hey, function over fashion.
Hidden inside the belt buckle lies a 2000mAh battery and a USB-C port: the essentials to charge your phone while you’re dressed for work. The battery is tested by the manufacturer, then Belty, and finally by a third party. This is excellent news because no one wants a battery that’s prone to overheating (and possibly exploding) next to the body.
Unless you’re just dying to get your hands on a leather designer belt from France, invest in a battery pack that’s more affordable and has a larger charging capacity.
Belty Power Classic Edition
Charge your phone with your belt while you’re out and about. ‘Nuff said.
Everyone knows drinking water is important. Water makes up 50 to 70% of your body weight and is essential to your well-being. That’s why there are countless apps, physical journals, water bottles with printed times, and more to help you get enough water every day. Many fitness apps have a dedicated water intake section.
But if none of that stuff works for you and you want to spend over $50 on a water bottle that glows, check out Hidrate Spark’s smart bottle. It’s a solid water bottle with vacuum-insulated stainless steel and a few lid and size options. But you could get those features from a bottle that’s a third of the price.
For this boosted price, you can download Hidrate Spark’s mobile app (Android/iOS), sync it to the bottle via Bluetooth, and track your water intake data. There’s also an LED smart sensor that glows when you need to drink; you can customize the LED color and glow pattern in the app. And although you can fill the bottle with water, never expose the smart sensor to water, or it’s pretty much kaput.
Hidrate Spark Smart Water Bottle
If hydration apps, journals, or the other countless ways of tracking water-intake just haven't done the trick for you, try out Hidrate's water bottle.
Brushing your teeth isn’t a fun task, but it’s necessary and fairly easy to do. But if you need even more motivation than potential cavities and a scolding from the dentist, there’s an app for that! The Oral-B Pro 5000 Smart Toothbrush pairs up with the Oral-B app (Android/iOS) to give you details about your brushing habits.
On top of all the info you’ll find in the app, this toothbrush has five different brushing modes, a pressure sensor that lights up when you’re brushing too hard, and a built-in two-minute timer that pulses every 30 seconds to signal when you should switch areas of the mouth for a full clean.
A toothbrush is one of those products I thought would never be equipped with Bluetooth, but here it is. And Oral-B isn’t the only company making smart toothbrushes. In fact, there are even smart toothbrushes out there, like this one, that have a built-in camera so you can get up close and personal with your pearly whites. But you should probably just save your money and get a standard toothbrush. If you need help brushing better, plenty of free apps offer assistance. Or use a timer.
Oral-B Pro 5000 Smart Toothbrush
You're paying a premium for a built-in assistant to help you brush your teeth. If that sounds like something you need, go for it.
Having a piggy bank as a kid seems like a rite of passage. And for some kids, using this smart piggy bank with its compatible mobile app (Android/iOS) could even encourage saving. But you can only put in coins (up to $100 in quarters fits inside), and we’re living in an increasingly digital world. Most likely, this adorable piggy will become a glorified paperweight in your kid’s room.
Smart Piggy Bank
You can save up coins in this cute piggy bank and track it through an app. Just keep in mind, you can only fit up to $100 in quarters.
Many of these items on this list seem to be “smart” for no reason, but that’s not necessarily the case with Toshiba’s Smart Microwave. A person with a vision impairment may find using voice commands with a smart microwave greatly increase quality of life. Many microwaves have smooth buttons with no raised bumps or anything to differentiate them from one another. So for someone with a visual impairment, being able to say, “Hey Alexa, start the microwave for one minute,” is incredibly useful.
But in all other instances, a smart microwave seems a bit extra. What’s the point of giving voice commands or controlling your microwave via a mobile app (Android/iOS) when you still have to physically put the food in the microwave first? The best thing about this particular smart microwave is that you have the option to turn off the annoying beep when it finishes cooking.
Toshiba Smart Microwave
Sure, you can ask Alexa to microwave your popcorn or defrost your chicken for dinner. But you still have to put the food in the microwave first.
If you don’t golf, these smart insoles seem ridiculous. Sure, you’ve probably heard of insoles for extra comfort or therapeutic reasons. But what about insoles that’ll help your golf game? These have four-foot pressure sensors inside that track your weight shifts and your stance and then pile all that data in a mobile app (Android/iOS) for you to look over and adjust your form going forward.
The insoles have an IP68 waterproof rating, an estimated seven-day battery life, and easy magnetic charging that lets you leave the insoles in your shoes. All in all, these insoles are pretty innovative. But for most people, these aren’t a smart item worth investing in. Even for golfers it’s questionable—do you really want to worry about remembering to charge your shoes?
Salted Smart Insoles
For dedicated golfers, these are actually pretty great. But for most people (and even casual golfers) these smart insoles seem like an extreme purchase.
Similar to the smart microwave above, a smart electric kettle could be fantastic for someone with a visual impairment, but you still have to put water in the kettle for it to be useful. Considering that most electric kettles heat water in a few minutes, it doesn’t seem like setting a schedule for your smart kettle helps save that much time in your morning routine.
Using the mobile app (Android/iOS) paired with the kettle does let you see the exact temperature of the water inside, but you can often see an estimated temperature on the outside of many electric kettles that aren’t smart.
Govee Smart Kettle
If you want to wake up to hot water and know you'll consistently put water in Govee's smart kettle before bed, this could be a great investment. If not, just save your money and get a standard electric kettle.
When your internet is slow or having any other problem you can’t seem to find a reason for, the typical process includes turning your router off, waiting a little bit, and then turning it back on. For routers—and most other technology—this works 99% of the time. ConnectSense’s Router Rebooter makes this an automatic process that you (supposedly) don’t need to worry about anymore.
It’s supposed to automatically detect when your internet is down, and then send the router through a reboot cycle to fix the issue. While getting up to manually reboot your router when there’s an issue is a bit annoying, is it really worth spending money on a gadget that’ll automate that process? You can also pair it with the mobile app (Android/iOS) and reboot the router from your phone, which seems like a more useful feature to me than automatic rebooting.
ConnectSense Router Rebooter
If your router is in a hard-to-reach or super dusty spot you don't want to mess with, this might be a smart pick. Otherwise, just manually reboot your router and save your money.