Smart TV gone dumb. Your Internet-linked TV should be able to play back videos from sites like Netflix and YouTube, but should it also let you check your calendar and e-mail? Some manufacturers (for instance, Panasonic, Samsung and Toshiba) seem to think so, resulting in overgrown interfaces that remind me of how "portal sites" like My Yahoo looked around 1999. Reminder to manufacturers: Most people likely to buy a connected TV probably already have a smartphone or tablet at hand in the living room.
Connected cameras. Have camera vendors learned from their initial, clumsy attempts to provide wireless photo transfers from cameras to phones, tablets or computers? Maybe. With so many manufacturers touting wireless photo connections (usually via Wi-Fi, but in some cases with shorter-range Near Field Communication), the pressure of competition ought to yield more pleasant results. Right? Please?
Friendly robots. Out on the show floor, Parrot's A.R. Drone "quadricopter" drones were as popular as ever. Offsite, one of the more obscure exhibitors from last year's CES, Las Vegas-based Romotive, showed off a more polished version of its iPhone or iPod touch-powered Romo that's now heading into production.