Re: I must be way out of step..
I think what is lacking is compelling *systems*.
Drones aren't an interesting thing. A set of drones which can find a lost child on a crowded Bondi Beach is interesting.
Similarly wearables aren't interesting. But a wearable which manages your diet and exercise is interesting. At the moment they only pump out raw numbers and if you want to track diet and exercise there's still a lot of "getting thongs to talk with things" to do the analysis. Let alone putting that analysis into immediately useful terms: can I have this bit of cake I just waved under the wristband's camera?
The basic problem is that whilst hardware is cheap, systems are expensive. The iPhone wasn't only a touch screen, battery, CPU and radio. It was the "app store" system which made that bit of glass interesting; just as iTunes Music Store made the iPod a better MP3 player than the better hardware from Creative.
CES simply threw a lot of hardware out there. Worse still, it will throw out different hardware next year. So if systems builders rely upon products released at CES will never get beyond the "make it run on the platform" stage before having to start over. At best CES is a demo of technical capability which allows systems builders to assess potential hardware partners.