5 Big CES Products That Tanked
Unless you're working at a tech company or cover technology and are in Vegas sampling the wares and meeting people within the industry, CES is just a barrage of announcements touting the next big thing. For a couple of days in the desert, any one product or gadget can become the next big technological advance humankind can't life without. A few weeks later, it can turn into a tech afterthought taking up shelf space retailers wish they could use for more popular products.
Does anyone remember what the big product launches from last CES were? Something to do with a television, perhaps? A 3-D printer? It doesn't matter. Regardless of what companies would have you believe, consumer behavior is shaped less by the big blockbuster item than by the smaller ones at the fringes. A new game console is worth only as much as the game titles and online support that come with it. A smartphone's design will get it only as far as its base of mobile apps can take it.
Basically, unless you're unveiling a game-changing technology such as high-definition television (which debuted at CES in 1998), Blu-ray discs (2003) or, arguably, 3-D television (2009), there's only so much impact a manufacturer can get out of one device. At some point, all the hype just hurts when a product can't live up to expectations.
We took a look back at the past decade of CES and found five products that didn't quite make their way out of the desert:
5. Intel(INTC) Wireless Display
Sometimes it's not the idea that's bad, but the way it's implemented.
Intel's idea to wirelessly transmit 720p high-definition signals from a laptop to a television screen was not only good when it was introduced at CES in 2010, but should sound awfully familiar to anyone who owns an Apple (AAPL) TV box today. Unfortunately, it made it into only a select few laptops and required a $99 set-top box to use.
It also never found its way into smart TVs, Roku and Boxee boxes, Blu-ray players or any of the myriad other devices that ended up giving the laptop a pass and bringing online content directly onto living room televisions. Like Apple TV, it's still a pretty efficient way of putting the contents of your laptop's screen onto a television. Unfortunately, as more consumers shift to mobile devices, there's less demand for what's on fading laptops.
4. Nokia(NOK) Lumia 900
C-Net considered this the best cellphone the 2012 CES had to offer. It loved seeing Nokia returning to the U.S. market after a brief hiatus and teaming up with Microsoft(MSFT) on a Windows 7 with a swanky design, touchscreen display, strong camera and 4G support.