While the home improvement retailing business may have got through a rough patch recently, that certainly didn't stop the wheels turning in the area of new product development. Based on the sheer number of new hardware and home improvement products on display at this year's National Hardware Show (NHS) in Las Vegas, it appears there is no lack of new ideas out there. In fact, the dedicated New Product World section at the show featured more than 400 innovative new products that are sure to find their way to retail shelves across North America in the months to come, if they're not there already.

One of the highlights of the New Product World section at the NHS is the New Product Launch Spotlight Awards. Launched at the 2009 show, the New Product Launch Spotlight Awards program is designed to draw attention to the very latest in new product design and innovation. In order to be eligible for consideration for these awards, the product must have been introduced in 2010, and have no pre-sells, pre-negotiations or exclusive distribution agreements in place. The products are judged by top retailing and distribution professionals and scored for innovation, differentiation/uniqueness, marketability/appeal, product longevity and overall value.

The DewStop fan switch from GTR Technologies is designed for use in areas of the home where condensation is a problem, such as near a shower or bath. The DewStop constantly monitors the level of condensation in the air, switching on a fan when the level gets too high in order to prevent mold and mildew from forming. Once the condensation level reaches an acceptable level, the DewStop switches the fan off, cutting down on unnecessary energy consumption.