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10 Things That Are Smarter Than You’d Expect

A bracelet, your inbox, a cat...all of these things have something in common. They're all a little bit smarter than you might think. Here are a few things scoring high on the intelligence scale that you probably would never have guessed.

A Bracelet

Martín Gerlach / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: mgerlach

Years ago, we never dreamed that all it would take to gather someone's personal information would be a simple scan of the wrist. With Skanz bracelets, there's simply no longer a need for business cards that can be easily lost or misplaced. Instead, Skanz allows any smartphone owner to gather select information directly into their phone.

A Dog

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Think your baby is smart? This dog is smarter. Chaser, the Border Collie, has the largest human vocabulary of any dog, recognizing the names of more than 1,000 objects. This pup's vocabulary puts her on intellectual par with a three-year-old child.


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How smart is your inbox? Most inboxes can filter through spam emails, but what about all of the graymail you've signed up for but don't end up reading? Hotmail's new features let you filter through your newsletters, expired daily deals, and social updates to leave you with what's really important.

A House

Don Graham / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: 23155134@N06

We all know you can customize a house to make it unique. But what if there was a house that customized itself to the occupant's liking? Enter "The World's Smartest House." This dwelling, created by CU-Boulder Team, has an environment that is controlled by a computer system that learns the occupant’s daily habits and preferences.

A Pair Of Shoes

Charles Williams / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: charlesonflickr

While they may not be the trendiest pair on the shelf, these shoes serve a purpose far more important than simply being fashionable. The $300 shoes are meant for Alzheimer's patients, and contain a GPS system in the heel, that lets family members track the location of the wearer.

A Parrot

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While parrots are known for their high intelligence, Alex sets the bar extremely high. His incredible ability to differentiate colors and shapes, and understand over 100 words, makes this parrot one extra smart bird.

A Toilet

othree / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: othree

With technology becoming increasingly smarter, it comes as no surprise that furniture and household items are becoming increasingly technical. And here's one toilet that's a cut above the rest. This pricey potty features remote control flushing, a touch display, automated cleaning and music playing capabilities.

A Coffee Mug

Mike Licht / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: notionscapital

Ever wish your coffee mug could do a little bit more? Here’s one that allows you to buy a cup of coffee and never even have to pull out your wallet. This special mug works by using an embedded radio frequency identification (RFID) chip that stores account information and purchase habits. Basically, It just got that much easier to feed your coffee addiction.

An Elephant

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Elephants may have a higher intelligence than other animals, but you probably wouldn't expect them to be artists. These gentle giants are known for their incredibly large brains and unique abilities. Their trunks can be used to manipulate tools, including paintbrushes, which they have been trained to use in creating remarkable pieces of art.

A Printer

No More Plains / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: skolbwilliams

Ever feel guilty for using too much paper when you print? Check out a prototype printer that could be one giant step forward for our environment. Instead of printing text or images, this printer removes ink from the paper making it ready for use once more.