PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- Hyping a gadget at the International Consumer Electronics Show is about as big a gamble as any other in Las Vegas.
CES is a ceaseless stream of the next big thing. Every app, product or gadget is being introduced as the great leap forward humankind needs and can't live without. It's a deafening echo chamber with a din that doesn't subside until weeks later, when tech geeks start asking themselves questions such as "Who's been clamoring for high-definition radio?"
Remind us again why were were supposed to be bowled over by the Xperia Z smartphone Sony introduced last year. Exactly what happened to the Pebble smart watch? Why were we supposed to prize Vizio's thin tablet over offerings by Amazon and Apple? For every NVIDIA Shield and Valve presentation making it clear that streaming games are going to kill the console, we get OLED 4K televisions that are a minor leap in screen quality for a major investment. We get tabletop PCs and smartphones that only stand out because someone other than Apple, Google, Microsoft or BlackBerry took a stab at designing its operating system.
Basically, unless you're unveiling significant technology such as high-definition television (which debuted at CES in 1998), Blu-ray discs (2003) or autonomous cars (2013), one device isn't going to make much impact beyond a company's booth. CES hype is strong, but finite, and it needs a lot of help to keep a product afloat once the show is over.
We took a look back at years past of CES and found five products that didn't quite make their way out of the desert: