Hundreds of gadgets are announced at CES every year, but many never make it on to the market. We look at the six best gizmos that never became publicly available.

The CES is surrounded by hype. And every year, the hype inevitably leads to disappointment.

Vendors dangle many alluring prototypes and product rumours in front of visitors, but many of the products never appear or arrive far later than scheduled and in a completely different format.

Evidently, much of what is dangled in Vegas stays in Vegas.

We took a look back at the CES shows of yesteryear to find products that never came to fruition, that came late, or that came in completely different packages (and with completely different prices). CES marketers, we're on to you.

Internet-connected refrigerators: just not happening

At CES 2000, Cisco and Whirlpool announced a Jetson-age joint project: a complete line of internet-connected home appliances, including refrigerators and ovens.

Philip Pejovich, Whirlpool vice president of corporate technology and engineering development at the time, claimed that such futuristic products would help homemakers increase their efficiency.

Ovens would be able to download recipes and program themselves to perform the appropriate roasting, baking, or whatever; refrigerators would come with wireless, removable web tablets designed for use as a calendar/email device/grocery-ordering form/note board.

Well, that awesome refrigerator never came to fruition, though the idea of a web-surfing fridge has experienced several revivals, including LG's Internet Refrigerator and Whirlpool's GD5VVAXT 'centralpark' fridge of 2008.

Both models have since been discontinued, so maybe it's time to admit that intelligent refrigerators just can't take the heat (and hence should stay out of the kitchen).

Gizmondo portable gaming device: killed off by competitors

CES 2005: Tiger Telematics announces Gizmondo, a handheld gaming device with such nifty features as GPS and digital camera capabilities, plus rights to Microsoft's wildly popular 'Halo: Combat Evolved' game.

The problem? The announcement for the rather expensive device came out just as the Nintendo DS hit the market and Sony announced PSP.

Gizmondo boasted MP3 capabilities, SMS and MMS capabilities, Bluetooth and USB support, and other fun features that the DS and PSP lacked - but those features simply didn't translate into success.

The device actually did launch - in late October 2005, but it was available only from the Gizmondo website.

Gizmondo managed to tread water (only eight games were released, and no GPS software ever appeared) for four months before the device was discontinued and Tiger Telematics declared bankruptcy.


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