Designers unveil house humidifiers disguised as modern art at CES 2012

New humidifiers combine the aesthetic appeal of vases with tried-and-true energy-saving technology.

Household items generally don't need to be improved. For example, my trusty manual thermostat works just as well as fancier models that come with smartphone integration and other more expensive bells and whistles. But that said, the designers of these tried-and-true energy saving items have never been ones to offer many unique products. And after all, when I buy a humidifier, I'd like it to look like a humidifier, not a Salvador Dali painting.

However, D-Design, a house humidifier manufacturer based in Japan, unveiled a surprisingly sleek new design at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that changed my initial perception. The company has disguised its humidifiers to basically look like vases. These humidifiers also come in a variety of colors (blue, black, green) and a modern shapes. (The "Allonge" models are tall and slender, while the "Middle" models are shaped like teardrops. Other humidifiers were made to look like decorative twigs or like leaves growing out of a pot.)

"You could easily put one in a corner or on a tabletop and it would look to all the world like an artistic accoutrement," Christina Bonnington, said in her report for Wired Magazine on the subject.

I agree, and according to her report, the ultrasonic models use vibrations to disperse humidity for up to 100 square feet, which isn't too shabby given their relatively small size. And if these products inspire other people to increase their health and help their energy bill with a humidifer, why argue?

But, while they are aesthetically appealing, these models won't be available for purchase until September. As a result, you may want to pursue alternative ultrasonic models from trusted online resellers if you're looking for a solution to your dry winter air this season.

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