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Whirlpool envisions the home of the future

Whirlpool showcases appliance concepts at CES.

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LAS VEGAS -- We've seen plenty of appliances get bogged down by "smart features" that don't really deliver in practice. They have a high novelty factor, but don't actually make it easier for you to cook dinner or do laundry, etc. That's why we're intrigued by Whirlpool's CES unveil -- it features a whole host of innovative appliance concepts, but they are all supposedly designed with a nod toward simplicity.

Connected Suite

The Whirlpool Connected Suite is all about the home and how appliances are gaining an increasingly "connected" role in our lives. So instead of you having a one-way interaction with your appliances, your washer could let you know the best times for energy usage and your fridge could send you food preservation notifications. The idea is that these appliances should adjust to you so it's easier than ever for you to get chores done.

WashSquad Laundry App

Along the same lines, Whirlpool has launched the WashSquad Laundry App. Often in many US households one person handles the laundry for the entire home, so why not give them a little extra help? This app offers advice on how to trouble-shoot stains as well as information on how to treat different clothing labels, etc.

Interactive Cooktop

Whirlpool is also showcasing a cooktop that can be controlled by voice or touch. This interactive concept establishes the cooktop as a sort of center of command in the kitchen. You would be able to access weather reports and a calendar from the cooktop, and even brainstorm ingredients for your next meal.

Refrigerator with CoolVox Sound System

The CoolVox fridge is another interesting concept from Whirlpool that's actually becoming a reality. Traditional fridges serve as the nostalgia center for a kitchen with photos and magnets, but this fridge will come with Harman Kardon speakers and have the ability to connect with any Bluetooth-enabled device. That way, you can entertain yourself and others without leaving the kitchen. There's no pricing info for now, but it is expected to go on sale at Lowe's in the summer of 2014.

Max Art Microwave

This highly conceptual project is part art installation, part appliance display. It marks a collaboration between Whirlpool and two artists from Mexico, Isauro Huizar and Tomas Guerena. The 50 microwaves were transformed into an exhibit that depicts Mexican culture.

Duet Laundry Designs

Whirlpool outfitted washers and dryers with custom designs. This lets you imagine how you could design your own laundry pair to perfectly compliment your home decor.

Black Ice Suite

Finally, Whirlpool's Black Ice Suite is a kitchen design with a modern vibe. It's yet another way to demonstrate that appliances can be seen as stylish additions to the home rather than something you try to hide in a corner.