In the modern world, technology can define our lives in ways that we cannot wholly comprehend.
Yet all this life-defining technology had to have had a beginning somewhere in this world, from Google’s humble start in a Seattle suburban garage envisioned by an aspiring grad student and a tour guide, to Apple’s founding, which found itself in eerily similar circumstances. Both had eager and intelligent minds driving their projects, of which both projects would consequently alter the entire world as we know it as each resulting gadget had a more profound impact than the last.
However, not all aspiring inventions and companies make it big in the world. While still supplied with originality and the desire to solve problems, they did not quite solve the problems that were in dire need of new solutions. Some failed to garner prominence due to the failed capture of public attention. Others were far more bizarre, with little interest given to their unconventional methods. Ranging from quirky to gruesome, these technology gadgets never made it big, perhaps for the better.
Bird Trap and Cat Feeder
Ever concerned about feeding your dearly beloved felines? Then worry no longer! For instead of feeding them name-brand food, you can rather go all natural by feeding them your neighborhood birds!
With twisted humor aside, it is not difficult to see why this gruesome tech gadget failed to catch on with the public, or feline lovers, for that matter. As its name suggests, its purpose was to capture birds “…the size of a sparrow…” and other birds of smaller stature then release them for a macabre end. That is, for cats to devour them as an afternoon snack without running low on birds to eat, as the supply was to be continuous.
Despite its visibly disturbing intentions, it shockingly managed to secure a patent for itself in 1977 that was set for expiration two decades later. Although it is clear that the invention never took off in the way the original creator intended. In other words, failed with tremendous splendor by failing to be considered by anyone, though probably for the best, to save ourselves from horrific imagery and preserve our feathered friends’ lives.
The Razor Phone
The Razor Phone is another absurd gadget, but it at least proves to be far less gory than the last invention. Developed by Solomobi, its straight-forward name leaves little to the imagination, as it perfectly describes the entire contraception with little fanfare. As a puzzling attempt at hygiene, it converges a phone and razor into one seamless device, handy for shaving while chatting on the phone with friends. Although the logic behind this one remains lost, someone had to have thought of at least one good reason for making a razor phone… right?
It is not a surprise it never kicked off, for as soon as it launched in 2009, it failed to secure any type of publicity for itself. Not long after, the entire device was forgotten and left to gather dust. Though to be fair, its price probably did not help either, as it expected customers to provide $112 for its purchase.
No thank you.
In an infamous attempt by Google to produce a novel groundbreaking technology, they instead created a device ridiculed by many and soon doomed to fail.
It was the product of Google X, an initiative set on developing a new form of technology that would become as notable as the computer. Unfortunately, glasses were not the way to go and achieve that feat. Its original intentions were to essentially create a wearable phone that was operated through verbal cues and language without having to lift a finger. To accomplish this, Google conceptualized the Google Glass, glasses that could complete all of the functions listed above and more.
However, after its debut in 2013, it quickly became the object of amusement and scorn for a multitude of reasons. The most prominent reason was also quite apparent — no one was willing to go out with the device on. Compounding that fact was that businesses of different calibers turned away customers wearing the devices and some even banned the device altogether. The primary reason for this was privacy concerns, which Google Glass supplied in copious amounts. Yet that was not all, as with many other items on this list, Google planned on charging consumers roughly $1,500 for each pair of Google Glass.
Far too expensive and “uncool” to even consider it, thus signaling its failure.
Rejuvenique Facial Toning System
That is all the words needed to describe this beauty mask released in 1999. Intended to rejuvenate one’s face by making them appear younger, it sounds like a good device. Until you see its design, both outside and inside. On the technical side of things, the mask was to send mild electric shocks to your face “…over the 12 essential zones.” To control the electric shocks, plus the intensity, it came with a knob equipped with a simple interface. Besides that, the outward appearance of the mask appears to be disturbingly similar to Michael Myer.
Yet despite the device’s terrifying appearance and painful descriptions — not to mention it was released over two decades ago — it is still for sale on sites like Amazon. At the meager price of $14, it is more scaled in value compared to other items on this list. But we think we will skip this one, for now.
Amstrad E-Mailer Plus
Seemingly a trend with many devices, its name leaves little to the imagination, as this gadget functions as a gadget with multiple purposes. Its Amazon description states, “…it’s a multi-functional data communicator. With its bright LCD screen, full QWERTY keyboard and combining all the features of a hands-free telephone/digital answering machine with e-mail, Internet access, FAX and SMS text sending and more, the E-Mailer Plus packs a mean technology-filled punch. The E-Mailer plus also features a 700 entry address book, Smart Media Card slot for extra storage, a calculator and the facility for an optional databank mini organiser [sic].” A lot, right?
Well, despite its presence on Amazon, the device never really took off. Practically nonexistent in terms of presence in either our homes or popular culture, it failed to catch with audiences. However, some attribute this to failure to the expansion of bandwidth at the same time. Although today it serves little purpose for us, during its release, it sounded far more useful. Alas, like the other tech gadgets on this list, it never was a booming success.
There are a plethora of other devices that have been brought into the public eye in attempts to secure financial gain as Google or Amazon has. Unfortunately, many of these devices — including the ones listed — were not good enough for the average consumer. Either due to their ill-timed release dates, or their extremely disturbing antics or appearance, these gadgets were doomed to fail. Though perhaps for the better, as some certainly should not have made it big in this world, which they gladly did not.
- Image from Pixabay by dokumol
- Image from Forbes
- Image from PhoneArena
- Image from ExtremeTech
- Image from Amazon
- Image from Amazon