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BOSTON – The annual Consumer Electronics Show – or CES – is underway in Las Vegas, showcasing the latest in tech.

They’ve been doing this since 1967, and the current shindig features America’s favorite gadget, the car. Who wouldn’t want a vehicle that parks sideways?

Also on showcase – new takes on tech that’s been with us for a while, like robots to make our lives easier and wearables to measure the stress of our easier lives.

But sometimes the CES offers innovation we really didn’t know we needed.

Sick of your cat dragging dead critters into your home? Fear no more, the Flappie Intelligent Cat Flap is here! “Every time that your cat wants to enter the door, it scans its face. So, as soon as it detects prey, it immediately locks the door,” explains the inventor.

Flappie cat door at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

CBS Boston

The Seergrills bills itself as the “world’s first AI powered grill,” but don’t stick a finger in it! The Seergrill cooks at 1,650 degrees, because you want that steak or burger right now, right?

Boasts its creator: “In about 90 seconds, you’ll get the best, most juiciest food you’ve ever tasted.”

You won’t see past CES sensations like hoverboards or curved TVs at this year’s show. Turns out it’s no fun watching curved TV, and those hoverboards had a nasty habit of blowing up.

And for the birder on your list, how about a bird feeder that recognizes the species visiting and identifies it on your phone or laptop?

For birdwatchers who don’t want to go outside, we guess. But isn’t that the point of birdwatching?

Says technology expert Nicole Scott in what might be the understatement of the new year: “I don’t think that a lot of the startups we’re seeing this year will make it.”

Creative new gadgets can be a real gift, and who knows? Maybe there is a big market for a cat door that keeps fluffy from bringing you its kill.

But one thing we’re learning about all our fancy new technology – just because we can now create all sorts of stuff we really don’t need, doesn’t mean we should. 

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