Our favorite products from the International Home and Housewares Show — from a cocktail machine to a facial recognition door lock

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

The International Home and Housewares Show is huge – 16 miles of aisles spread over three buildings at Chicago’s McCormick Place, with more than 2,200 vendors displaying some of the latest tech and great design for home goods, along with updates on old favorites.

A few trends remain popular: multifunctional products, eco-friendly items, smart-home goods that focus on safety or have big tech upgrades, and products to improve wellness.

Our favorite things are a combination of new releases and upgrades: Some have great design, some solve problems and some are just fun.

— Professional bartenders meet their match

What it is: Bartesian cocktail machhine

Why we like it: It’s like a single-serve coffee pod machine for cocktails. After sampling an Old-Fashioned cocktail at the show, I was pleasantly surprised that Bartesian’s cocktails tasted as good as others that I’ve imbibed at an average bar. Users supply their own spirits to fill Bartesia’s five glass bottles, then pop in one of Bartesia’s six cocktail capsules. Currently there are four classics: margarita, Old-Fashioned, whiskey sour, and sex on the beach, and two custom-made drinks: rum breeze and uptown rocks. This probably isn’t for a serious cocktail connoisseur, but for the person who wants to enjoy a consistent-tasting cocktail at home without the hassle of stocking all the ingredients, this fits the bill. $299 for unit; capsule six-pack, $14.99, www.bartesian.com

— No more gross grills

What it is: Grilltastic steam grill cleaner

Why we like it: Most barbecue grill grates are coated with caked-on gunk that a grill brush can’t remove. Grilltastic is a handheld grill cleaner that uses a 1,500-watt steam generator combined with a stainless-steel brush to cut through grease and grime, removing 99.99 percent of germs and bacteria. Works on cold grills, too, allowing owners of built-in grills to completely clean their units. Separate accessory pack lets users clean patio furniture and other outdoor items. $89.99, www.amazon.com

— Your face opens doors

What it is: Elecpro’s US:E smart lock

Why we like it: Elecpro’s US:E smart lock uses facial recognition to lock or unlock a door. The video camera uses infrared multipoint 3D recognition, which the company says cannot be fooled by photos and videos. Owners can store up to 50 faces per lock, and have five other options to lock or unlock doors – fingerprint scanning, key fobs, smartphone app, video camera or a physical key. Available in May. Estimated price, $380, www.elecprous.com

— Lunch germs, begone

What it is: Flatbox Cheers

Why we like it: Brown bagging lunch is eco-friendly, but your office desk or the park picnic table is probably a hazmat scene. FlatBox is an insulated neoprene lunchbox that unfolds to a placemat, giving you a clean surface. The machine-washable bag has four separate zippers allowing diners to open it fully or partially, important when eating in a small space like an airplane seat. The latest model, FlatBox Cheers, a picnic-sized bag with two side pockets big enough to hold wine bottles, will be available in July. Estimated price: $19.99, www.flatbox.com

— Warm, clean air

What it is: De’Longhi’s 3D Comfort Air Technology air purifier

Why we like it: Air purifiers clear stuffy winter indoor air, but the breeze can give off a chilly feeling. De’Longhi solves that problem by combining a HEPA-type air purifier and a heater in a sleek design. There are six gentle heat settings, and the surround-air feature means no hot spots. In summer, users can switch from heating to cooling with the unit’s 10 fan settings, all while purifying the air. Available this fall. Estimated price, $499, www.delonghi.com

— Chill without ice

What it is: Vinglace Wine Chiller

Why we like it: Perfect for picnic season, the Vinglace Wine Chiller keeps wine and Champagne chilled for hours — no ice needed. The container is made of double-walled, vacuum-insulated stainless steel. To use, insert an already-chilled bottle in the base, and screw on top. Starting at $89.95, www.vinglace.com

— On the Horizon: Frozen food comes out crispy

What it is: Galanz ToastWave 4-in-1 countertop appliance with air fry, convection bake, toast and microwave

Why we like it: Everyone uses a microwave to reheat or thaw out food. But what if you could nuke a piece of frozen food and have it come out nicely browned as if it were cooked in an oven? Galanz, a company that will debut in the U.S. later this year, brought its ToastWave, which says it will defrost and cook with the combined speed of a microwave and a convection oven in one space-saving appliance. There were no working models at the show to test, so right now, it’s a great concept. Let’s hope it works out. Expected out in the second quarter. Estimated price, $499, www.galanz.com