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The hits and the misses at CES 2012

  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • This year's Consumer Electronics Show turned out to be the largest on record but many industry pundits agree there has been a dearth of genuine scene-stealers. But as with most years, avid - and hardy - attendees can always find a few gems that stand out from the inevitable tidal wave of headphones, Internet-enabled home appliances and gadget casings. Here are a few high and low moments from the Las Vegas show floor.

    (Models pose with Nikon digital cameras during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 10, 2012. Photo: Reuters/Steve Marcus)
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • Tagg, a GPS-enabled dog or cat collar so you need never lose your beloved companion again. A minute GPS unit clipped to pet collars will send an alarm text or email to your app-installed smartphone should Snuggles wander outside of a prescribed zone.

    (Tagg - The Pet Tracker GPS pet collars are displayed at the Qualcomm booth during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 12, 2012. The collar uses GPS to track a pet's location and can send messages over a cell network if the pet strays from a pre-determined area, a representative said. Photo: Reuters/Steve Marcus)
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • Hewlett-Packard's all-glass-encased Spectre was probably the most eye-catching of the so-called 'Ultrabooks' and drew throngs of onlookers. Intel is hoping the new generation of ultra-thin, instant-on, lightweight laptops - essentially a riposte to Apple's MacBook Air - will safeguard its market share as tablets and smartphones encroach on its traditional personal-computing turf.

    (A HP Envy 14 Spectre ultrabook is displayed at the Intel booth during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 12, 2012. Photo: Reuters/Steve Marcus)
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • The Tobii, which tracks eye movements to execute commands - what it calls "gaze interaction" - taking gesture-controlled interfaces a step further and upping the sophistication ante. Along with Nuance's voice controls and Microsoft's Kinect gesture-recognition technology, it offers an alternative to the fast-getting-old keyboard-mouse input model in an era of touchscreens. Zoom, auto-center, destroy virtual asteroids - moving just your eyes.

    (A Tobii Technology representative demonstrates what the Swedish company says is the world's first first eye-controlled laptop at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas January 11, 2012. Now testing, the device allows the user to completely control his computer just with eye movements and is expected to be available for professional applications in two years with consumer applications to follow. Reuters/Rick Wilking)
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • Samsung Note, the beefed up "phablet" with a 5.3 inch screen that sits somewhere between a phone and a tablet. It may seem unwieldy held up to one's ear, and the screen - at half the iPad's size - might seem wanting as well, but its sleek lines, pin-sharp Android apps and unique shape drew in the crowds.

    (Showgoers look over the Samsung Galaxy Note phone/tablet during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 10, 2012. Photo: Reuters/Steve Marcus)
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • Nokia's phone, running Windows, marked the once-mighty Finnish handset maker's return to the US market - and Microsoft's biggest phone gambit yet. People clamored for a feel, but demos were limited and there is no release date yet.

    (CEOs Steve Ballmer of Microsoft, Stephen Elop of Nokia and Ralph de la Vega of AT&T Mobility display their Nokia Lumia 900 smartphones at the Consumer Electronics Show opening in Las Vegas January 9, 2012. The Lumia 900 is the first 4G LTE Windows Phone platform device and will be offered on AT&T's network. Reuters/Rick Wilking)
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • Massive, 55-inch OLED TVs from Samsung and LG, which are both cautiously hopeful the costlier, but crisper screens will re-energize a faltering global TV market after flat sales in 2011. Bonus: look at them sideways and they almost disappear.

    (Super thin 55-inch OLED televisions are displayed at the Samsung Electronics booth during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 10, 2012. Photo: Reuters/Steve Marcus)
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • Microsoft Corp signed off after 14 show-opening keynotes with a bizarre, news-free presentation featuring a "Twitter choir" and a Q&A anchored by Ryan Seacrest. The company is reportedly revamping its marketing organization.

    (Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer gestures to host Ryan Seacrest during the opening Microsoft keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show opening in Las Vegas January 9, 2012. Reuters/Rick Wilking)
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • Panasonic Corp's combo digital photo frame and Skype terminal. "The idea of some engineer who has been locked in a room for 10 years," one observer quipped.

    (A Panasonic prototype photo and video communicator is displayed during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 12, 2012. The device connects to the Internet over a Wi-Fi connection. Photo: Reuters/Steve Marcus)
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • Dish Network Corp's stunt with a fidgety live kangaroo onstage, to launch its new "Hopper" package.

    (A kangaroo character poses at the DISH news conference to promote the company's new whole home HD DVR called the "Hopper" at the Consumer Electronics Show opening in Las Vegas January 9, 2012. Reuters/Rick Wilking)
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • A Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's fridge that streams Pandora and Twitter. It's OK to take a break from the Internet every now and then.

    (Samsung's Krystle Richcreek demonstrates a prototype Internet-enabled refrigerator with a 10.2 inch screen during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 12, 2012. The refrigerator, which connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi, has a variety of Apps including a grocery inventory manager and a Twitter feed. CES, the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow, runs through January 13. Photo: Reuters/Steve Marcus)
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • And last but not least, Sony Corp's strange "Wedding Invitation" promo for its Internet-enabled TVs. Verbatim from the invite: "Internet plopped down on one knee. After nervously fidgeting around, he blurted, "I can haz marriage?" and presented TV with a giant ring. She, of course, said yes. And the rest is history."

    (Workers prepare the booth for Sony at the Consumer Electronics Show opening in Las Vegas January 9, 2012. Reuters/Rick Wilking)
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012
  • The hits and the misses at CES 2012