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The 6 best gadgets that never made it

Great technology that never saw the light of day

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.

Moxi DVR: late, expensive and not as expected

At CES 2008, Digeo announced that its Moxi DVR set-top boxes would soon be available to the public via local consumer tech outlets (previously, the boxes had been available for purchase only through cable service providers).

Digeo also announced new web-based content partnerships, including an agreement with Flickr.

Well, 2008 came and went, and the Moxi boxes were still accessible only through cable providers.

At CES 2009, Digeo made almost the exact same announcement, the only twist being that the company now had a deal with retailer Amazon.

Sure enough, later in 2009, consumers really could get the Moxi HD DVR - but at a stiff price and without the multiroom extender boxes. At this year's CES, Digeo unveiled extender Moxi Mates.

OLED TVs: taking their sweet, sweet time

TV manufacturers won't rest until television screens are no thicker than a piece of paper, so the announcement by Sony and Samsung of OLED televisions at CES 2008 is hardly surprising.

OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology emits its own light (as opposed to requiring a backlight, as LCD TVs do), thus permitting much thinner screens.

At this point, OLED screens aren't a completely imaginary animal - Sony sells a tiny 11in OLED TV, and OLED screens exist on several phones and music players - but we've yet to see a revolution in mass-produced big-screen OLED TVs (or even small OLED TVs).

Wireless HDMI: HDMI ports on your HDTV are still a priority

At CES 2007, Philips tantalised show attendees with rumours of a wireless HDMI device.

The device, supposedly slated to debut in May of that year, would be able to transmit uncompressed high-definition video over the air from up to 25 feet away.

Moreover, the device would work with existing DVD players, making a true 1080p HD experience possible without a bunch of messy cables.

In November 2007, though, Philips rescheduled the debut of wireless HDMI to 2008.

Then, at CES 2008, Belkin announced its own foray into the wireless high-def market with Flywire, which one-upped Philips's design by adding six input ports instead of just one for the ultimate wireless experience (including S-video and component video).

Belkin has since put its product on hold indefinitely.

The good news? As of October 2009, you can (finally) snag Philips's wireless HDMI device, albeit for a slightly higher price than initially anticipated.

And finally, the inevitable committee - the Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) Consortium - announced late last year that it had finished its WHDI specs, so perhaps we can at last see on the horizon an HD-friendly wireless living room that isn't a mirage.

NEXT PAGE: This year's best gadget that probably won't appear

  1. This technology may have been announced but it never saw the light of day
  2. Moxi DVR
  3. This year's best gadget (that probably won't appear)

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