The oohs and ahhs coming from those attending this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas were accompanied by more than a few sighs of disappointment. “There was a time when you could expect the greatest gear in every product category to roll out at CES. The best laptops. The best TVs. The best mobile phones,” the Gadget Lab crew at Wired wrote in their roundup of the show. “But that time has passed us by.” The inevitable conclusion: “CES is not the same show it once was.”
It’s not that there weren’t plenty of cool new gadgets unveiled at tech’s annual product mecca. From 4K (or Ultra HD) television sets to ginormous smartphones to amazing morphing touchscreens, technophiles had lots to geek out over. It’s more that, as BrightLine CEO Jacqueline Corbelli writes, “the most remarkable thing about CES 2013 – I believe it will go down as a watershed moment – is that there really was no 'next new thing.'”
At the same time, manufacturers large and small also offered up more than a few head-scratchers – devices that, even if they managed to score cool points, might be a little too clever for consumers, or nowhere near clever enough.