CES 2018: A reality check on this year's wildest tech products

CES 2018: A reality check on this year's wildest tech products

- in Business

LAS VEGAS — The tech industry’s annual trade show, CES, always provides a fascinating look into our high-tech future. Yet… it’s also littered with plenty of products that will never see the light of day.

When the show’s doors open on Tuesday, more than 2.7 million square feet — a record in the show’s 51 years of existence — will be occupied by companies showing off their latest innovations.

While some of these products will find buyers and be standouts of the show, many others may actually never make it to market.

Parts of CES are “about big news and splashy product launches,” but the trade show’s significance lies in its ability to “offer a glimpse into the future of what is likely to come,” Geoff Blaber, an analyst at CCS Insight, told NBC News.

“The vision you see at CES isn’t necessarily going to manifest itself in one, two or three years,” said Blaber. “It’s indicative of where we are moving.”

In other words, technology can wow critics and be the subject of headline articles, but that doesn’t mean consumers are necessarily going to buy it anytime soon — or, indeed, ever.

Remember the smart hair brush that was the talk of CES last year? Chances are you don’t own one. But one of the hits at CES last year, the Willow Pump smart breast pump, is currently just coming out of beta after its big moment.

Perhaps the biggest fall from grace in recent times is Faraday Future, an electric car maker hoping to rival Tesla. The company held two splashy events in previous years but is nowhere to be seen this year after a litany of problems.

“CES is important in that it ‘tests’ early consumer acceptance for new technologies,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “I believe we will see most of what is shown at CES on the retail shelves in 2018, but not products that tested poorly or just were too hard to develop or manufacture.”

Image: Samsung's 146-inch Modular TV, 'The Wall'

Samsung’s 146-inch Modular TV, ‘The Wall’