These days, home appliances are becoming as innovative as our favorite tech toys like smartphones tablets, MP3 players, e-readers and more.

Along with these popular gadgets, home appliances are also being reworked in order to provide consumers with higher levels of sustainability, energy efficiency and of course remarkable aesthetics. In other words, the throng of appliances currently in-the-works is bound to teach the average consumer way more than basic kitchen skills.

Think of coffee makers that can start with a simple tap on your iPhone, ovens that can prepare dinner without needing you to be anywhere near the kitchen (or even your home for that matter), “smart” vacuum cleaners that “know” when to take care of a dusty floor and refrigerators that can let you know when you’re running low on eggs or milk by transmitting a notification to your tablet.
While most of these innovative smart appliances are still in the concept and development stages, there are a few that have already hit the market, and here is a look at three of them:

1. The Laundry Alternative’s Wonder Wash

Everybody knows that washing machines account for a huge portion of water usage in households. This contributes not only to increased water bills, but a staggering degree of environmental disruption. To put it in perspective for you, washing and drying a single load about every two days creates about 440kg of CO2e every year.

The Wonder Wash is a portable machine that can wash up to 5lbs of your dirtiest laundry at a time. The machine requires little power and of course saves you big time when it comes to money – with the machine, you can save yourself the hassle and expense that comes with your bi-weekly trip to the laundromat.

The company that has created this machine, The Laundry Alternative, specializes in portable washing machines that use 90% less water per load and a significantly lower amount of energy, too. The company is also offers two kinds of energy-efficient dryers (100 times more energy-efficient than average dryers, to be exact).

2. The Miele Futura Dishwasher

Promising to deliver a 23-minute wash cycle, this machine is the world’s fastest dishwasher – and offers amazing energy-efficient amenities, too. While the price is a bit steep (retail price runs from about $1250 – $3,000), dishwashing folks will really get a big bang for their buck. The machine’s tiers are adjustable, many models can connect to Wi-Fi, and the best part: the Futura uses 35% less water that the average dishwasher. And there’re more: this washer’s Perfect GlassCare System actually monitors the mineral content of the water that rinses your plates and silverware, as well as its temperature and the cycle intensity and air flow throughout each wash cycle.

3. Samsung’s Smart Fridge

Imagine being able to access the temperature inside the coolbox, check out memos, refer to a calendar, peek at Twitter, listen to Pandora, seek out a recipe on Epicurious, watch the news and more – right on the 7-inch LCD screen that races this refrigerator’s door. Now, stop imagining – because it’s here, it’s real, you can do it all, thanks to Samsung. While a lot of people may deem this fridge’s superpowers a bit over-the-top, I’d put money on the fact that those same people are secretly in love with the idea of having such a cool appliance.

To boot, this tweeting icebox is Energy Star rated as eco-friendly and energy efficient, features a Twin Cooling Plus system to keep food fresher for way longer than we are used to, and its LED lighting emits less heat than the average fridges’s lighting system.

*CC image from Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nancyhugo/418234930/sizes/z/in/photostream/)