The Most Ridiculous and Weird Tech Gadgets From the Last 25 Years

Not each gadget is a winner. And because it seems, fairly a couple of are full losers. The large electronics bonanza generally known as CES 2023 is in the books and it featured loads of bizarre devices of its personal, from pee-reading bathrooms to a slicing board with a display screen. But what if we flip again the clock to soak up the CES exhibits of yore?

Over the previous 20-plus years, I’ve seen devices so gorgeous that typically they appear to exist purely as a result of journalists like me will write about them. But it is time to name out the actually terrible ones, the worst of the worst. Vacuum footwear, bathroom paper robots, MP3 weapon holsters, it is your time to shine!

The most attention-grabbing half about this rogues gallery is that a few of these merchandise — the Pepe pet dryer, the HapiFork and the Hushme, to call a couple of — are nonetheless being offered right this moment. That’s proper: You blew it up, you maniacs!

Dyson Zone Air-Purifying Headphones

Nothing uncommon right here.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Not technically a CES product, as this was introduced throughout 2022, however Dyson was demonstrating the Zone headphones in Las Vegas throughout CES 2023. Although the Zone seems prefer it ought to be a COVID masks, that is sadly not what it does. According to the Dyson web site, growth on the Zone started means again in 2016 as a private air filter — for air pollution, primarily — and as such, it was by no means designed to guard towards COVID. Furthermore, one critic has claimed that the gadget’s force-driven followers might even assist maximize your possibilities of catching coronavirus. CNET’s Katie Collins, who tried it out at Dyson’s HQ in the UK, thought it was “too good and weird to disregard.”

Read extra: Dyson Zone Air Filtering Headphones on sale in January for $949

Charmin Rollbot

Charmin RollBot

CNET

Computer peripherals producer Razer is the king of making “take a look at me” merchandise particularly for CES, however bathroom tissue model Charmin grew to become infamous for this 2020 entry. That’s proper, in the 12 months that noticed the mass panic shopping for of bathroom paper got here a robotic that would deliver you much more! Coincidence? Yes… most likely. The RollBot was by no means going to be an actual product, however we liked/loathed it anyway.

Read extra: These Charmin Robots Make Us Wonder: Is Pooping the Next Tech Frontier?

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Kolibree Smart Toothbrush

An iPhone next to a Kolibree toothbrush

Kolibree’s new linked toothbrush tracks customers’ exercise, serving to them brush in the best means they’ll.

Kolibree

Remember once we needed to wash our fingers for 20 seconds singing songs to ourselves? The identical methodology additionally applies to brushing your tooth, however why must you use your personal mind and lips like a sucker? There have been many sensible toothbrushes over the years, however right this moment I’m choosing on the Kolibree. Everything was simply effective till the arrival of “the world’s first linked electrical toothbrush.” Happy birthday to you, blissful birthday to you…

Read extra: Kolibree’s Connected Toothbrush Aims for Better Dental Health

Taser MP3 Holster

Taser MP3 holster

Supreme Defense

Back in the 2000s, the iPod grew to become such a cultural phenomenon that each firm rushed to create an MP3 participant of its personal. This culminated in what’s considered one of the dumbest CES merchandise in current reminiscence: the Tazer MP3 holster. Imagine making an attempt to not solely cost your holster but in addition join it through USB to your laptop to fill it up with 1GB of tunes.

Read extra: What Every Taser Needs: A Music-Playing Holster

Pepe Pet Dryer

Pepe pet dryer

Pepe is a dryer to your canines and cats.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Want to discover a new solution to make your small canine or cat hate you without end? Lock them in a dice jail for 25 minutes (!) and topic them to gusts of scorching air. This mixture torture machine/dryer would have set you again $660, or you might simply throw a towel over your moist canine like a traditional human.

Read extra: At CES 2019, a $660 Sauna Will Give Your Dog the Blow Dry of His Life

HapiFork

Hapifork on a plate of food and napkin

CNET

Throughout historical past, there have been so many devices designed to restrict regular human conduct, however this one takes the (pan)cake. The HapiFork is yet one more vibrating gadget that tells you to eat your meals slower (over 20 minutes), with the concept being that you’re much less prone to overeat. Personally, I wolf my very own meals down like I’m in jail, so do your worst, HapiFork. I’ll eat with my fingers if I’ve to! You’re not the boss of me!

Read extra: Bolting Your Food? Put On The Brakes With HapiFork

Hushme

A man with a Hushme over his mouth

Hushme in masking mode.

David Carnoy/CNET

The Hushme is actually a “dumb” product — it is designed to make its consumer mute to different individuals in the rapid neighborhood. It was pitched as being helpful in workplaces, however… if a co-worker gave me considered one of these, they’d higher be sporting vacuum footwear, in an effort to clear up the gleefully stomped-on bits.

Read extra: Hushme May Be the Weirdest, Yet Most Useful Wireless Headphones Ever Created

Belty

Belty smart belt in a display case

Make room for Belty, a wise pant-holding machine that slims or expands to regulate granular modifications to your waistline. It just isn’t a joke.

Nick Statt/CNET

The authentic Belty was a prototype sensible belt with a motor in it that adjusted itself as to if you simply ate or have been sitting down. Impractical as hell, however type of cool? While there’s a newer mannequin, additionally known as Belty, this one is even weirder — there is not any auto-sizing, however it does have an influence financial institution charger in the buckle. OK, two issues. Not solely do I not desire a doubtlessly risky compound close to my nethers, I do not need to join a sequence of gadgets there both.

Read extra: Meet Belty, the Ridiculous however Strangely Popular Show-Stealer of CES Unveiled

Xybernaut Poma

A man models the Xybernaut Poma wearable computer

Sean Captain, previously of PC Advisor, fashions the Xybernaut Poma. Via seancaptain.com.

Sean Captain

First proven off at CES 1998, the Hitachi Xybernaut wearable laptop was a horrible concept lengthy earlier than Google Glass was even a gleam in Babak Parviz’s eye. The Windows CE-based Xybernaut Poma gives a 128MHz RISC processor and 32MB of RAM for the low value of $1,499, plus it is strapped to your arm and your face and your belt!

Read extra: Hitachi Fashioning Wearable PCs

Denso Vacuum Shoes

The bottom of a Denso Vacuum Shoe

Sarah Tew/CNET

Shoes. You put on ’em. They put on out, you purchase extra. But that is not thrilling now, is it? They want issues in them — telephones, rockets, rollers and… vacuums? There are so many puns I might make about even simply the identify of the Denso Vacuum Shoes, however the proven fact that they existed in any respect was the largest joke of all.

Read extra: Vacuum Cleaner Shoes Show Up at CES Because Why Not

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