Back to the Future

At the Consumer Electronics Show, gadgets try hard to be fun and useful

So you think the tech economy is in recession? Don't try telling that to the 100,000 folks who packed the casinos and taxis of Las Vegas to capacity last week. The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) never looked so sure of itself, even if it was the only place in America trying to put a glitzy, Tomorrowland sheen on 2003. Some of the gadgets may never fly (Bill Gates' unveiling of a "smart" watch that delivers traffic and weather reports met with a frosty audience reception). But it won't be for want of an industry trying everything it can think of....

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