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Today's vision of a smart home has more to do with what's technologically possible than what people really need.The annual CES gadget show, which opened in Las Vegas Tuesday, is a showcase of the latest innovations from big corporations and tiny startups.NEVER MIND THE NAYSAYERS What one person considers a silly idea is another person's breakthrough, and many innovations displayed at CES could find long-term commercial success among niche audiences even if they aren't widely adopted, said technology analyst Tom Coughlin, president of Coughlin Associates.In the Netherlands, startup entrepreneurs often look mockingly back to a late 1990s video that asked random people in Amsterdam if they ever wanted a mobile phone, said Stefan Witkamp, co-founder of smart home startup Athom B.V."Now it's unthinkable not to have your smartphone," said Witkamp, whose company's Homey product links various connected devices to a single system.Similar skepticism now affects smart devices, he said.WHERE'S MY ROBOT?The reality is that it's a lot easier to connect an appliance to the internet than it is to build "Rosie," the robotic maid that TV cartoon show "The Jetsons" launched into the world's imagination a half-century ago.Priced at $16,000, the machine can take 30 items per cycle, though it's still not terribly efficient.
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