We can’t imagine today’s world without the smart technologies and dozens of personal gadgets that we all rely on. The development of such intuitive and practical products, however, hasn’t always been smooth sailing. History remembers a wide range of ridiculous technologies that quickly lost their fame.
Wondering about these technological disasters? Here’s a list of the seven worst technologies in history.
1. Windows Millennium
Microsoft products are often the butt of the joke among technology experts. The company is known for a couple of disastrous developments but Windows Millennium most definitely tops the list.
The OS launched in September 2000 is often ranked as the worst operating system ever produced. Saying that the OS was prone to crashing is putting it very mildly. This is why Millennium Edition has been renamed by jokesters to Mistake Edition.
It’s interesting to point out that Windows Millennium came with the capability of restoring files you had previously deleted. Malware and viruses were included in the range of restoration options. Needless to say, Millennium was quickly replaced with a better product.
2. iSmell Personal Scent Synthesizer
This product developed by DigiScents in 2001 wins the award for most ridiculous concept.
It was advertised as a peripheral computer device that had a main function of emitting a certain smell whenever a website was visited or the user opened an email. The smells were the results of a cartridge containing 128 scents.
Does a product letting you smell your online activity sound insane to you? Most buyers responded in the exact same way and nobody really understood what the purpose of the gadget really was.
3. CueCat Barcode Reader
Yes, you’ve guessed it right – this product is a barcode reader and it comes in the shape of a cat!
The gadget was used to scan a QR code, after which it was connected to a computer to load the respective website. Sounds like a good idea but there was a hidden catch. Customers soon found out that information about the device’s use was sent back and recorded on Digital Convergence’s (the manufacturer) servers. In addition, CueCat really wasn’t that appealing (in a way that the QR code scanners on smartphones are).
4. Google Nexus Q
Launched in 2012, this Google product is a gadget that started with a great concept but was handicapped by poor execution.
Google Nexus Q is a very good-looking digital media player that has an aim of making multimedia usage more social. It enabled the creation of queue tracks and playlists to stream from a phone or a tablet. The gadget, however, suffered from the fact that it was overpriced and it experienced serious problems playing anything but Google content.
5. Nokia N-Gage
The bulky, poor design and the limited game selection predetermined the destiny of Nokia N-Gage.
Nokia’s team did something quite innovative at the time – trying to bring together a mobile gaming device and a smartphone. Nokia N-Gage suffered because of its clunky design and the illogical button arrangement. The product sold only three million units before it got discontinued.
6. Sharp RD3D
A laptop that enables you to watch 3D content without using glasses sounds cool, right? This wasn’t the case with Sharp RD3D. For a start, the main concept led to serious eyestrain in the case of long laptop usage. The viewing angles, understandably so, were quite narrow for proper 3D viewing. In addition, the product proved to be way too sluggish.
All of this came at a quite steep price of 3,300 dollars. It’s interesting to point out that Sharp exited the US laptop market shortly after the notorious failure of RD3D.
7. DivX Players
The final entry in the list is a digital video disc that was launched back in 1998. It was supposed to enable people to “rent” DivX discs and watch them as many times as they wanted within a 48-hour period. The charge for using the service was four dollars.
People, however, didn’t warm up to the idea. They preferred to rent DVDs and watch them without 48-hour restrictions. In addition, renting DVDs didn’t come with software that monitored usage and viewing habits like DivX players did.
Did you own any of these technologies? Anything else you want to add to the list?