LAS VEGAS - As spending on gadgets flattens in a world obsessed with smartphones and tablets, the Consumer Electronics Show here hopes to be a launch pad for a new must-have device.
From drones and smart cars to remote-controlled door locks and eyewear, the annual CES event officially starting Tuesday promises to showcase an "Internet of Things" with users at its heart.
The technology extravaganza that plays out each year in the glitz-laden city of Las Vegas has evolved beyond the eye-popping television technology for which it is known, to serve as a stage for once-dumb devices given brains in the form of computer chips and Internet connections.
"You will see two types of technology here," Shawn DuBravac, chief economist at the Consumer Electronics Association which puts on the international show, said Sunday.
"You will see the technologically feasible and the ones that are commercially viable."
Innovations on display but not prime for market will include bendable screens.
Potentially disruptive technology that is available includes 3D printers that let users print objects in a fashion similar to printing documents.
"It is still a very nascent market, but we are starting to see it grow," DuBravac said.
The CES stage is typically a prime showcase for gizmos that don't usually get a spotlight.
"You will see a lot about the Internet of things; all the gadgets that are not a tablet, smartphone or personal computer but are attached to the Internet," said Forrester analyst Frank Gillett.