Thomas Edison Hologram Hosts 'Gadget Graveyard' at CES

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Thomas Edison Hologram Hosts 'Gadget Graveyard' at CES
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A Thomas Edison hologram drew visitors to the 'gadget graveyard' contest hosted by IEEE at the 2013 Consumer …

LAS VEGAS —Will radios or mp3 players end up in the "gadget graveyard" in 2013? A spooky hologram of Thomas Edison urged industry experts to vote on their favorite doomed gadgets during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The "gadget graveyard" contest sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) offered CES attendees a chance to win iPad mini tablets if they stopped by the booth to vote. CD-ROMs had received the most votes out of 20 possible gadget choices as of Wednesday (Jan. 9), followed by landline phones, radios, mp3 players and cable boxes.

DVDs, car keys, plasma screens, GPS units and Ethernet cables rounded out the rest of the top 10 gadgets voted most likely to end up on the scrapheap.

Anyone not attending CES can vote online through Facebook or a separate website for a chance to win a $50 solar charging kit. The contest closes on Jan. 11.

The "gadget graveyard" contest seems oddly fitting for CES, given how a relentless focus on the newest gadgets threatens to leave even the most beloved technologies behind. Some of the newer technologies may face extinction at an even faster pace than older inventions such as radios or car keys.

New tech products also have a far better chance of becoming market failures rather than runaway bestsellers. But that reality has never discouraged consumer tech experts and reviewers from coming up with "Best of CES" recommendations every year.

The real-life Thomas Edison knew plenty about tech failures as one of the most prolific U.S. inventors in history — or at least someone who knew the value of patenting ideas. His failures included a primitive talking doll that represented a spinoff use of his more successful phonograph invention.

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