(Bloomberg View) -- The Internet of Things is one of the gadget industry's brightest hopes in a world that's saturated with smartphones. Sensors are cheap, and digital giants such as Amazon and Google are aggressively pushing their voice-command technology. The resulting hype, however, spawns inventions that should only exist in the corny worlds of science fiction.

At this point, the IoT market isn't well-quantified. Intel says there were 15 billion connected IoT devices in the world in 2015 -- a number the chipmaker predicts will increase to 200 billion by 2020. Gartner, the tech consultancy, counted fewer than 5 billion devices in 2015 and predicted fewer than 21 billion by 2020. There's a good reason for the gap: No one can predict which objects consumers and businesses will want to connect to the internet. So businesses are trying nearly everything, and showing it off this week at The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas:

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