One of the coolest things we saw at the 2014 International CES was more of a concept than a real product: Whirlpool's interactive cooktop is like a giant tablet you can cook on so you can avoid covering your iPad with greasy fingerprints. (Follow CES 2014 live, and get the latest CES news here.)
Whirlpool's cooktop concept uses an induction heat surface to cook your food anywhere you set your pan. Along the sides are Web-sourced recipes, ingredient cards, and easy access to your social networks and phone. The cooktop aims to offer everything you need while you cook--it even lets you make hands-free calls and dictate text messages.
For simpler dinner party planning, there are options to send invitations and look at Pinterest for tablescape inspiration, and the cooktop even ties in with Spotify and other music streaming services to set the mood.
Whirlpool doesn't expect to have the interactive cooktop ready anytime in the near future, sadly. There are plenty of silly Internet-connected devices, but if Whirlpool's interactive cooktop is where the Internet of Things is heading, that's a trend we can actually get behind.