5 innovations that may lead to 'next big thing'

Consumer technology has lacked a wow moment recently. But flexible screens and four other promising advances could eventually lead to cool new devices.

The state of tech
ground breaking technologies

When was the last time you were really wowed by consumer technology?

PCs aren't getting much faster. Smartphones are still the same black and white rectangles they've been for six years. The biggest upgrades Sony (SNE) made to the PlayStation 4 were in the social sharing and streaming realms. Ultra-high definition 4KTVs are only worthwhile for screens so big that can't fit in your living room. Hybrid laptop-tablets and 3D printers remain a work in progress.

But it's premature to say the golden age of gadgets is over. Computer scientists, networking technicians and software engineers are working on a host of new technology that may help rev up the innovation engine once more. Here are five innovations that could alter the world of consumer tech.

  @DavidGoldmanCNN - Last updated April 01 2013 05:54 AM ET
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