PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- The hype surrounding the most talked-about gadgets at the International Consumer Electronics Show is much like anything else that happens in Las Vegas: It tends to stay there.
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:
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