LAS VEGAS--CES is a bizarre proposition: thousands of people trying to digest news from thousands of exhibitors sandwiched between casinos, all punctuated by taxi rides narrated by the I-can't-believe-it's-not-butter voice of Steve Wynn.
And there are random bursts of heavy metal music.
Add to that ginormous booths, loud booths, babe-filled booths, swag-filled booths, and even booths with nothing in them.
But at the heart of CES are ideas, the lifeblood of innovation. And you don't have to go too far to find the far-out.
Just claw your way to the back end of the South Hall and you'll find purveyors of one-handed keyboards and smartphones with medical apps developed with alien assistance.
Sometimes these ideas are from lone inventors who seem on the fringes of common sense. Men and women who are convinced that their idea, no matter how unusual, will meet a need we never knew we had.
Sometimes they spring from some imponderable motive or simply a desire to get the electronics industry to lighten up a little.
Why shouldn't your utensils interact with you? And shouldn't all toilets have tablets?
Here's to those brave souls who dare to think beyond, sometimes beyond the pale. We salute their uniqueness and crave more of their visions of what life could be like. Check out our gallery of some of the more refreshing offerings from CES 2013.