Tech show showcases gadgets we don't need - until we do

Boston Herald 

Today's vision of a smart home has more to do with what's technologically possible than what people really need. Thus the endless parade of internet-connected wine openers, water bottles, meat thermometers and refrigerators, and a dearth of automation that would clean and fold our laundry, pick up things around the house or assist aging people as their physical strength wanes. Not that some tinkerers aren't trying to come up with life-changing tools, often while trying to persuade consumers to share their routines and shopping habits to make all this work -- and potentially opening the doors to hacking or surveillance in their homes. The annual CES gadget show, which opened in Las Vegas on Tuesday, is a showcase of the latest innovations from big corporations and tiny startups. Some of these inventions could soon be useful to consumers.